If you have built up additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) in the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), you can use them in different ways. Make sure you research and understand the options open to you.

If you have AVCs and are over the age of 50 and considering your retirement options, you can get guidance from Pension Wise.

  • Pension Wise

    AVCs count as defined contribution (DC) pension savings. This means there is greater flexibility on using your AVCs at retirement. Pension Wise is a free, impartial pensions guidance service from the government. If you have AVCs with us, and are age 50 or over, Pension Wise can offer you:

    • tailored guidance (online, over the telephone or face to face) to explain what options you have and help you think about how to make the best use of your DC pension savings;
    • information about the tax implications of different options and other important things you should think about; and
    • tips on getting the best deal, including how to shop around.

    Visit www.pensionwise.gov.uk; or call 030 0330 1001 to book an appointment.

    The Pension Wise service is not available to members with only defined benefit (DB) pension benefits.

Using your AVCs towards your BTPS pension

If you want to use your AVCs towards your BTPS pension, you may be able to use them to increase your tax-free lump sum, buy an annuity or transfer them into another pension scheme.

We’ll generally disinvest your AVCs in the month leading up to your chosen pension start date. The cash they raise is the final value we’ll use in your pension calculations. As they’re still invested in your selected investment fund until then, their value could go up or down between now and when we disinvest them.

Other uses of your AVCs

The Money Advice Service booklet, Your pension: your choices, explains the various options you have to use your AVCs outside of your BTPS pension – and the risks associated with those choices. If in doubt, speak to an IFA.

Switching your AVC funds

Unless you are an active member, you are no longer able to make further Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) into BTPS. You may be able to switch your AVC investment between the different funds available within BTPS. The best way to view your own AVCs and the options available to you is by using the member portal. Register or log in from the top of this screen.

Please be aware that a request to switch your AVC is not an instant transaction and the transfer of funds can take up to 18 days to complete.

There is a risk that market volatility could affect the value of your fund between the date of your switch request and the date it is disinvested by your existing provider. The value can go down, as well as up during this period.

Between your funds being disinvested and the time they’re invested in your new choice of fund, there may be a short period when they are not invested at all. This is known as being ‘out of market’. While your funds are ‘out of market’, they will not benefit from market gains nor be reduced by market losses.

If you are unsure about how market volatility may affect the value of your AVC, please consult an independent financial advisor before requesting a switch.

The terms of your Scheme AVCs are subject to BTPS Rules and HMRC regulations, which will take precedence if there is any conflict with the information on this website.