Added years and Additional Voluntary Contributions

You have a range of options to increase the level of benefits paid to you from the Plan.

You can pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) every month to purchase additional benefits on a ‘money purchase’ basis.  You can also make one off lump sum payments.  You may increase, decrease or stop contributions to this arrangement at any time.  A range of investment funds are available.  You choose which fund or funds you want to invest your AVCs in. 

When you retire, you can use your accumulated AVC fund to do a combination of the following: take some of it as cash and use the remainder to buy yourself an extra pension by purchasing an annuity contract with an insurance company; transfer your accumulated AVC fund to an external pension provider and continue to invest it or use it to fund a flexi-access drawdown arrangement; and/or use your accumulated AVC fund to provide a cash lump sum in certain circumstances.  If you have any questions on these retirement options, please see the  “Frequently Asked Questions” for members with defined contribution AVCs and Shift Pay Pension Plan contributions or contact the DC Plan administrator (tel: 01733 353 414; email: 

Transferring members who were members of the CPS at transfer and were making additional contributions for the purchase of added years will be able to continue to do so in the Plan, on the same terms as previously. 

Transferring members who were members of the CPS at transfer, but were not at that point buying added years will be able to take out a new added years contract on a basis decided by the Lead Company.

Note that on death in service, we will enhance your Reckonable service for family benefits by the full amount of the added years you have arranged to purchase under such an agreement. A similar enhancement will be made to your Reckonable service if you retire from service on medical grounds.

In a similar way to the purchase of added years, you can purchase additional benefit entitlements or earlier entitlement to certain benefits. For example, you have the option to pay additional contributions to remove the requirement that you must have completed two years’ Qualifying service before your spouse will receive a pension on your death in service. 

Note that contribution limits will apply in certain circumstances. The limit for total member contributions in respect of added years and regular contributions to the Plan is 15% of Pensionable earnings (subject to the Earnings cap where appropriate).

The AVC investment guide can be accessed by clicking on the related document below.  To obtain further details on the range of self-select funds and Aegon BlackRock LifePath options please refer to the investment guide below.  For information such as fund factsheets please contact the DC Plan administrator or click here for the links to the fund factsheets.

If you are interested in paying AVCs please contact Aegon, the DC Plan administrator for further information (tel: 01733 353 414; email:  If you are interested in purchasing added years, please contact Equiniti, the DB Plan administrator for further information (Tel: 0333 207 6523; Email:

When deciding whether or not to pay added years or AVCs, you should consider other investment options that may be available to you outside the Plan and may wish to take independent financial advice.