You can transfer your AVC fund to another pension scheme or arrangement, including to a scheme that offers flexible benefits, independently of your main scheme benefits; and provided you have stopped paying AVCs, you can even transfer your AVC fund even if you continue to contribute to the LGPS.
If you were to transfer your AVC funds to a defined contribution scheme the four main flexible benefit options that the scheme might offer (from age 55) include:
to purchase an annuity (yearly pension) or scheme pension
taking a number of cash sums at different stages
taking the entire pot as cash in one go
flexi access drawdown - using your pension pot to provide a flexible income. You are normally allowed to take a tax-free lump sum of up to 25% then set aside the rest to provide taxable lump sums as and when, or a regular taxable income.
You should be aware that there may be tax implications associated with accessing flexible benefits. The income from a pension is taxable; the rate of tax you would pay depends on the amount of income that you receive from a pension and from other sources.
If you are considering taking flexible benefits you should consider accessing this pension guidance and taking independent advice to help you decide which option is most suitable for you.
If you are thinking of transferring your AVC plan you should be aware that scammers operate in these markets and are after your pension. To help protect yourself from scammers, please see The Pensions Regulator website. Details of your AVC options will be provided to you before your retirement.