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 part of MoneyHelper.

When you apply to take your pension we'll ask you if you've had a Pension Wise appointment to discuss the use of your AVCs. You can book online direct.

  • Pension Wise from MoneyHelper

    AVCs count as defined contribution (DC) pension savings. This means there is greater flexibility on using your AVCs at retirement. Pension Wise is a government service from MoneyHelper that offers free, impartial pensions guidance about your defined contribution pension options. An appointment with Pension Wise is free and will help you understand what your overall financial situation will be when you retire.

    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 moneyhelper.org.uk or call Pension Wise from MoneyHelper on 0800 138 3944 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday or visit the website to book an appointment. If you're outside the UK call +44 (0) 20 3733 3495.

    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. Further information on how you can use your AVCs towards your pension is available in Your Pension Guide.

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 MoneyHelper 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.

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.