Can I pay more?

Yes, you can. You can use up to 15% of your pensionable salary (in addition to your regular contribution of 6.5%) to invest in unitised funds by paying additional voluntary contributions, also known as AVCs.

The funds you can invest in are offered by Standard Life, and you can choose to start paying AVCs at any time.

You have the option to take up to 100% of your AVC savings (which may be higher or lower than the amount you have paid in) as tax-free cash when you retire.

The Scheme provides a facility through Standard Life to make additional contributions known as AVCs.

The decision to invest with Standard Life is voluntary – you decide how much to contribute each month and how that money is invested. This means that you are taking the investment risk and your employer will not contribute should the value of the investment funds go down rather than up in value.

You are limited to a maximum investment of 15% of your salary in each tax year and unused relief from previous years cannot be carried forward to later years.

Contributions are deducted through salary and you get tax relief at source, in exactly the same way as your regular contributions to the Scheme are treated.

It is possible to pay a lump sum, rather than pay monthly, and Standard Life has set minimum terms depending on whether it is a one-off payment or in addition to regular monthly contributions.

It is possible to make a lump sum payment through payroll in March covering the tax year, but please keep in mind the 15% limit. It is not possible to elect to pay a lump sum that will wipe out or exceed your monthly salary, even if it is within the 15% limit. It is generally recommended that members should pay monthly contributions, which also helps spread the investment risk when markets are volatile.

Please keep in mind payroll cuts off dates and JLT, who administer the MRC pension scheme, will not accept AVC payments by cheque in any circumstances.

Standard Life has provided an AVC brochure and application form, which should be read carefully.

AVC applications must be sent to payroll and also to JLT by email (mrc_pensions@jltgroup.com) for validation.

JLT will send your AVC application to Standard Life and payroll will send the AVC contributions to Standard Life for investment.