AVCs and SCAVCs
Additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) allow you to boost your LGPS benefits by paying in additional contributions each month, aside from your regular monthly contribution. You can pay up to 100% of your pensionable pay into an 'in-house' AVC plan in each job where you pay into the LGPS. Your contribution will be taken out of your next available pay period, before tax, once your election has been accepted.
Our ‘in-house’ provider is Prudential. You can find out more information on AVCs by visiting their website. Please note, there is a link to their website in the 'Related Links' box.
Requesting information regarding your AVC plan
If you are an active or deferred member of the scheme and are considering, or have decided, what to do with your AVC plan, you can request more information from us tailored to you. We can provide you with your rights and options under the scheme dependent on your age and reason for leaving.
Furthermore, when you request a retirement quote we’ll also send you information regarding your AVC plan.
Prudential have their own website for managing and keeping track of your AVC online, including the option to increase, decrease, stop and re-start contributions and make changes to fund choices. Members can apply for an AVC online or by using the standard application form found on their website. Prudential will continue to support members on the phone once they’ve become a member of the AVC arrangement. The contact number for the AVC member support team is 0345 6000 343.
Options at retirement
When thinking about how to use your AVC plan at retirement you have a number of options:
- Buy an annuity from an annuity provider, such as Prudential
- Buy additional pension from the LGPS – you may be able to use your AVC plan to buy additional pension in the main scheme
- Take all or some of your AVC plan as tax-free cash
- Buy extra membership in the LGPS (only if your AVC plan started before 13 November 2001)
- Transfer your AVC plan to another pension scheme
Your employer can also pay towards your AVC plan. This is known as a shared cost additional voluntary contribution (SCAVC) and is an employer discretion. You should check what your employer’s discretions policy says about SCAVCs.
AVC plans are investment-based so the value of the investments can go down as well as up. You may not get back all you have invested.
To find out about other ways you can use your AVC plan, visit the national LGPS website.
Changes to AVC plan taken out before 1 April 2014
If you started paying AVCs before 1 April 2014, the rules around your plan were slightly different to those taken out after 1 April 2014. If you have not yet taken payment of your AVC plan, the below changes now apply to you following the introduction of the LGPS (Amendment) Regulations 2018.
- The maximum contribution limit has increased from 50% to 100% of pensionable pay.
- AVCs will now also be deducted from any voluntary overtime you work (if you pay AVCs as percentage of your salary).
- When you take your main scheme benefits you will no longer be able to leave your AVC plan invested and take it later.
- If you leave the scheme with a deferred benefit you can now buy additional pension from the LGPS with your AVC plan when you take your benefits from the scheme. Before the change, this option was only available to members who took immediate payment of their main scheme benefits and their AVC plan when they left the scheme.
- You can now nominate who will receive a death grant payment, should you die before taking your AVC plan.
- If you have more than one AVC plan, either through different jobs or a transfer of AVC benefits from elsewhere, these plans will be automatically joined together when your main benefits are combined. Previously you used to have to tell us to do this.
Please be aware that some of the old rules have stayed the same. Your normal pension age is still 65 (in most cases), and if you started your contract before 13 November 2001, you'll still have the right to buy scheme membership in some cases.