Frequently asked questions

Click on the boxes below to find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about pensions.

What does Defined Contribution (DC) mean?

A type of pension scheme where benefits are based on the value of contributions made by the member and the company, together with any investment return. The size of the pension account will determine the level of benefits payable at retirement and during retirement and will depend on the contributions paid in and the investments and performance of the funds that the contributions have been invested in.

What is Automatic Enrolment (AE)?

Automatic enrolment is the UK’s workplace pensions initiative created to help motivate working individuals towards saving for their retirement.

All employees over age 22 and below State Pension Age, who work or ordinarily work in the UK, must be enrolled into a pension scheme as long as they earn over a certain amount.

Wincanton automatically enrols all eligible employees into the Wincanton plc Pension Scheme (there is no requirement to complete an application form). Both Wincanton and the employee must contribute to the Scheme at a minimum level.

What are additional voluntary contributions (AVCs)?

These are extra pension contribution payments to boost your future benefits at retirement and can be deducted directly from your pay. AVCs benefit from tax relief.

What is the Lifetime Allowance (LTA)?

The lifetime allowance is a limit on the amount of your total pension benefits that build up over your working life, without incurring a tax charge. The current LTA is £1m. A tax charge is levied on the excess.

It is up to you to keep track of your position, as the LTA applies to all your pension benefits apart from the State Pension – in other words, you need to take into account your Wincanton pension, plus any other company or private schemes you may have.

If you think the LTA may affect you, you can apply to ‘protect’ your benefits. The Government has made various types of protection available over the years so that people close to the LTA need not be affected. You should seek independent financial advice if this applies to you or if you are in any doubt whether or not the LTA may affect you.

For more information about the LTA you can click here.

How do i get tax relief on my pension contributions?

Pension contributions are taken under a ‘net pay arrangement’ and are deducted from gross pay.

  • Under this basis, employee contributions are deducted from your pay before tax is taken.
  • So, employees will automatically get full tax relief on their contributions straightaway.
What are my options at retirement?

Generally, you can take your pension savings as a cash lump sum, a regular income for life (via the purchase of an annuity) or a combination of the two. You can find much more information about your retirement options here.

It is important that you make the right decision that best suits your individual needs when it comes to taking your retirement benefits. If you are in doubt or would like advice on your pension savings, you should seek professional financial advice. You can visit for information about where to find an independent financial adviser (IFA).

You can also click here to visit the Government’s own guidance website,

What is a State Pension (BSP)?

The State Pension is an income paid by the Government from your State Pension Age (SPA). It's paid to individuals who have paid enough National Insurance contributions (NIC) throughout their working life.

For more information about the State Pension please click here.

What is my State Pension age (SPA)?

This is the earliest age you can receive the State Pension. To find out your State Pension age click here

How do I update my Pension Account?

You can view and update your personal details through the secure online pensions account. You can also change your investment choices and amend the level of contributions that you pay. You may find out more information about choosing, monitoring and changing your contributions here. You may also find out more about investment options here.

What is a Nomination of beneficiary?

When a cash lump sum benefit is payable following your death, the Trustee will take into account your wishes with regards to who to make the cash lump sum payable to.

It is important that you complete a Nomination of beneficiary form and also update it, if you have a life changing event such as getting married or becoming a parent. You can complete a Nomination of beneficiary form here.

Whilst the Trustee is not bound by your nomination, it will help to guide them when they consider who should receive the benefits.