Paying into IWDC

Understand your benefits

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You’re never too old – or young – to start planning your retirement. 

Your IWDC pension pot offers a number of options when you retire. You can take it as:

  • a lump sum, or
  • a pension (annuity) for life, or
  • regular payments (called drawdown), or
  • a series of lump sums.

All these options are subject to some level of income tax. The last two options are not directly available through IWDC - read about your pension choices.

Your loved ones/favourite charities etc. may also get a lump sum if you die in service.

Sign in to your Personal Retirement Account to see how much your benefits are worth.


  • Your contributions are tax-free, up to certain limits, as they are taken from your salary before tax.
  • You can choose how to invest your contributions for the best long-term returns.
  • You can top up your pension with Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) and invest these in funds of your choice too. 

Think ahead

It’s important that you have an idea when you may want to retire or take your benefits, as this will influence the funds that your contributions should be invested in to help build up your pension pot.

To start with, do you know your Normal Retirement Age? This is the age when your employer normally expects you to retire. You can find it in your Key Features guide when you log in to your account. 

Or, if you have selected a Lifestyle Fund (where your funds are managed for you), you can choose your own Target Retirement Age, which can be as low as 50 (depending on your Scheme membership rights) or as high as 75.

Every year, you will be sent an Annual Benefit Statement, which gives you an idea of what you  might expect to receive in retirement. It's really worth looking through it. You'll find more information about your Annual Benefit Statement in our FAQs section.