Planning for retirement

My options

Preparing for your retirement is an exciting time, but ​think carefully about the different options ​below and consider getting independent advice to make sure ​the choice you make is right for you.

 A lump sum   RPS_icons_scheme contributions_130x130              RPS_icons_username_130x130 Extra dependants' pension       
RPS_icons_AVC contributions_130x130  AVCs                               RPS_icons_payment dates_130x130 Level pension                                                                         

A lump sum

When you retire, you can take a lump sum with your RPS pension.

You may be able to take a larger lump sum (currently tax free) by giving up part of your pension but there is a limit on how much you can take.

The way that pension can be converted to cash and vice-versa will depend on the Rules of your Section. You can find more information on this in your Member Guide in the 'My library' section of  myRPS. Log in or register for myRPS.

Your lump sum choices will not affect the pensions your dependants may receive if you die.

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Extra pension for your dependants

A pension will be paid to your eligible dependants when you die, but you may be able to give up part of your pension to provide more for a named dependant.

These payments will continue until your dependant dies. However if your dependant dies before you, you will still only get the reduced pension.

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Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

If you have paid into BRASS, you must take these benefits at the same time as your main RPS benefits, or transfer them to another arrangement if you wanted to claim them at an earlier or later date.
Members of the Network Rail Shared Cost Section can transfer all of their BRASS funds, or transfer funds arising from any BRASS contributions made before/after 6 April 2009 separately.
AVC Extra
If you have paid into AVC Extra and don’t have a Protected Pension Age, you can take your AVC Extra benefits separately from your RPS benefits and you can transfer out your AVC Extra benefits at any time.
If you do have a Protected Pension Age, you cannot take your AVC Extra benefits before you retire from the Scheme unless you transfer them to another arrangement. If you retire and are under age 55, you should either take payment or transfer out your AVC Extra benefits, otherwise you may lose your Protected Pension Age and will not be able to retire until after age 55.
If you ​have BRASS and AVC Extra savings, you would need to transfer both together, unless you’re a member of the RSSB, Unisys and CSC Computer Sciences Shared Cost Sections, in which case you can transfer your BRASS and AVC Extra funds separately. 
We strongly recommend that you seek independent financial advice from an adviser who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before making any transfers. You can find a list of independent advisors in your area at

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Level pension

You may want to take your RPS benefits before you can claim your State Pension. The level pension option helps even out your income when you start claiming your State Pension.

You draw a higher RPS pension before you claim your State Pension and a lower RPS pension after reaching State Pension age.

This option is subject to eligibility and the terms of it will be based on your State Pension age when you take your pension from the RPS.

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Guidance on your options

Before making any decisions about your future, ​it may be wise to get guidance and advise. You can find Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) in your local area at

If you want more information about any of the options, you should check with your employer, email or telephone the Helpline on 0800 2 343434.
You can find a copy of your Member Guide in 'My library' and helpful tools, including a pension planner, in 'Planning my future' when you log in or register to use myRPS.


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