Increasing your Benefits
You may choose to increase your pension benefits under the 1987 Scheme, particularly if you are unable to build up 30 years’ pensionable service before your intended retirement age. You are able to increase your benefits by purchasing Added Years, although you may already be making Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) to buy additional benefits for yourself and/or your spouse through Standard Life.
The AVC arrangement closed to new contributors from 1 October 2010. This means that even existing contributors will NOT be able to increase their contributions, nor will you be able to transfer any other AVC benefits into your existing AVC fund.
HM Revenue and Customs place overall limits on pension contributions which are tax-deductible, but these limits are quite generous. The current position is that, unless you are a very high earner, you are normally able to pay 100% of your taxable earnings in a tax year in pension contributions and gain tax relief, although there may be limitations in any year in which your pension entitlement has increased substantially i.e. if you have been promoted or have taken up a more senior appointment.
You are also able to take out an entirely separate personal pension plan at the same time as you contribute to the 1987 Scheme.
You are strongly recommended to seek Independent Financial Advice before taking any action.