Taking my AVC Extra
It's important to know when and how you can take your AVC Extra pot so you can plan ahead.
There are several ways you can take your AVC Extra pot. This is entirely separate to your BRASS pot and your main DB pension.
You can normally take up to 25% of your PRA as a tax-free lump sum, up to a maximum of £268,275 (unless you have Lifetime Allowance protections), and then choose one, or a combination of the options above for the remaining amount of your pension pot. But you do not have to take a tax-free lump sum if you don’t want to.
The Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) doesn’t currently offer an annuity or drawdown option directly, so to access these you would need to transfer your AVC Extra pot to another provider. If you are interested in drawdown, the Trustee of the RPS has appointed Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) to offer members access to a drawdown facility. You can find out more about how it works on the understanding drawdown page.
You can read more about these options on the how can I take my IWDC pot page. AVC Extra is a defined contribution arrangement, just like the IWDC Section of the Scheme, so your options are the same.
You can transfer your AVC Extra pot to another arrangement, even if you don’t transfer your BRASS pot and your main DB pension. You can find more information in the transfer options Read as You Need guide for DB members.
You may want to get financial advice before making any decisions. You can get more information on the guidance and advice page.
If you do decide to go ahead with a transfer you can either tell your employer and they will tell the Scheme administrator, Railpen. Or you can start the process with Railpen directly by requesting a guaranteed transfer out quote (CETV). The quickest and easiest way for most members to do this is online, although you can still email or call using the details on the get in touch page.
If you are still making additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) you will need to contact your employer to stop them before we can provide a CETV.
To request a CETV online:
You will then get a guaranteed transfer out quote with the value of your AVC Extra pot and details of what to do next.
You can only request one CETV free of charge in any 12 month period, so it’s really important to consider this carefully before you go ahead.
You can also read more about the transfer process in the transfer options Read as You Need guide for DB members.
Pension transfers are one of the main routes used by scammers, so please read the pension scams page for details on what to watch out for and how to protect your pension savings.
If you’re thinking of taking your AVC Extra pot and want to know how much it’s worth, you can log in to your myRPS account. To view your AVC Extra record, use the blue bar at the top of your screen once you've logged in to swtich between your membership records.
If you leave work, you cannot continue to pay into AVC Extra. Anything you’ve paid into your AVC Extra pot already will remain invested in your chosen fund/s until you take them.
You can change your investment funds even if you’re no longer paying in, so you should continue to check your fund choices regularly to make sure they’re still appropriate for your circumstances. You can learn more on the managing my AVC Extra page.
If you have to leave work because of ill health you may be eligible to get incapacity benefits from your Section of the Scheme. You can read more on the my circumstances have changed page.
If you are granted incapacity benefits then you can use your AVC Extra pot at the same time to boost your income. The benefits you get will depend on the size of your pot. It will also depend on the terms of the annuity or drawdown provider if you choose one of those options.
If you die before taking your AVC Extra pot from the Scheme, then the value may be paid to your beneficiaries. This could be done in a number of ways and is at the discretion of the Trustee. You can read more in the Read as You Need guide for AVC Extra members.
If you die after taking your AVC Extra pot from the Scheme, in the form of an annuity or drawdown, then there may still be options available for your dependants. This would be under the terms and conditions of your annuity or drawdown provider. You can read more on the how can I take my IWDC pot page, because the same options apply to AVC Extra as for the IWDC Section of the Scheme.