The Wincanton Pension Scheme

Below you will find lots of information about the Wincanton Pension Scheme.

About the Wincanton Pension Scheme

The aim of the Wincanton Pension Scheme is to help provide you with benefits at and during your retirement. The way it works is that you make a contribution from your pay before tax is taken (via SMART Pensions – which will be explained later) helping you to save money in a tax efficient way. Wincanton will also make contributions on your behalf to help grow your savings even faster.

The Wincanton Pension Scheme is known as a Defined Contribution pension. Basically you build up an amount of money in your pension account that you will then use to provide retirement benefits. The size and type of retirement benefits you receive will depend on factors such as the amount you pay in, investment performance and the choices you make at retirement.

The Wincanton Pension Scheme is the qualifying pension arrangement for employees who are auto-enrolled.

To help you keep an eye on your account, the Scheme provides you with access to your secure online pensions account.

When can I join the Wincanton Pension Scheme?

You can either apply to join the Wincanton Pension Scheme or you may be automatically enrolled into the Scheme as part of Wincanton’s auto enrolment obligations – you can find out more about that here.

If you have been with Wincanton for some time and have either not joined the Scheme or have chosen to opt out, then you can still apply to join and start making contributions.

In certain circumstances, you may need to provide information about your health. You will be notified if this is the case.

Please click here to apply to be a member of the Wincanton Pension Scheme.

Once you have made your application and it has been approved, you can register your details to access your secure pension account.

Can I opt out of the Wincanton Pension Scheme

You can choose to opt out of the Wincanton Pension Scheme if you feel that it is not right for you. However, you may be re-auto enrolled at a later date, usually every three years.

It is important that you understand by opting out of the Scheme you will lose pension contributions paid for by Wincanton and your life cover may reduce.

If you wish to opt out of the Wincanton Pension Scheme, please click here for an opt out form.

How much does it cost?

Unless you have elected a different contribution rate, you will pay 5% of your pensionable earnings. Wincanton will contribute 3%.

Please note that different rates of contribution may apply to different members. To understand your current contribution rates, please log on to your pension account.

Can I choose to pay more?

Yes. These are known as Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). You can pay regular AVCs by paying a percentage of your pensionable earnings or, you can choose to make a one-off lump sum AVC payment or you can choose to do both. Wincanton does not contribute towards your AVCs.

AVCs are paid in a tax efficient way so if you want to find out how AVCs affect your take home pay you can use our handy retirement calculator.

What are SMART Pensions?

SMART Pensions is a salary sacrifice arrangement whereby you give up part of your salary and, in return, Wincanton will pay your pension contribution into your pension account on your behalf. The part of your salary that you give up will be equal to the amount of your pension contribution.

In doing so you will receive Income Tax and National Insurance relief on the money that you have sacrificed as it is removed from your pay before Income Tax and National Insurance contributions are calculated. This means that you pay less tax and National Insurance.

You can find out how SMART Pensions can benefit you by using our handy retirement calculator which can be found here.

How is my account invested?

The value of your pension account when you retire will depend on how much you have contributed and how your money has been invested, so choosing the right investment fund is very important. Which fund or funds are right for you will depend on a number of factors, particularly when you want to retire and how you wish to take your savings at retirement and potentially during your retirement.

The Trustee has appointed BlackRock and Legal & General as the Scheme’s investment managers.

Lifestyle Investment Options

There are two lifestyle funds which adopt an approach which manages the investment of your pension account throughout your working life by aiming to invest in the appropriate type of funds between now and retirement, depending on how you wish to take your savings at retirement.

The lifestyle funds are suitable for people who are uncomfortable managing their own investments, or simply don’t have the time. The two lifestyle options that are available to everyone are:

Cash at Retirement Lifestyle Option – aimed at individuals who wish to take their pension account as cash from the Scheme at retirement. This is the default investment option for the Scheme, and is the option that your pension account will be invested in if you do not actively make a choice between the two options.

Income at Retirement Lifestyle Option – aimed at individuals who wish to buy an annuity (a secure income for life) and take a cash lump sum from the Scheme at retirement.

The two Lifestyle Options are identical until nine years from retirement. From then, these options each target a specific way how you take your pension savings at retirement but you will still be able to take your savings in a number of different ways. You should check if the target of the lifestyle options best meets your needs.

Both Lifestyle Options assume you plan to retire at age 65. Unless you have advised Capita of a different retirement date (your ‘target retirement date’), if you retire earlier than age 65 this may result in your pension fund being invested in higher risk funds rather than lower risk funds at retirement. It is your responsibility to tell Capita if your intended retirement age differs from age 65. You can do this via your online pensions account.

Please click here for more information on the Lifestyle options.  If you do not make an investment choice, the Cash at Retirement Lifestyle option will automatically be applied to the investment of your contributions.

Switching Investments
You will also be able to switch your investments. You can do this via your online pension account.

Self-Select Option (only available to members of the Pension Builder Plan). A range of funds has been made available if you wish to manage the investment of your pension account. Please click here for more information.

Need help?
For individual factsheets on the self-select range of funds please contact our Pensions Administrators, Capita, on 0345 122 2032 or you can access them via your online pensions account.

Please note that the Trustee cannot accept any responsibility for the choice of investment funds you make. You should think carefully about the investment choices that you are making. You should be aware that the value of your investment is not guaranteed and may go down as well as go up.

If you need to speak to someone regarding your investment options, then Independent financial advice may help you with these decisions. You can obtain a list of IFAs in your area from the website: You may be charged a fee for any advice you receive and the company does not cover the cost of this advice.

What are my choices at retirement?

When you reach retirement you will be able to access and use your pension account in a number of ways, the earliest that you can do this is currently age 55. At this point you can:

  • Take your whole pension account as a lump sum in one go. A quarter (25%) will be tax free and the rest will be subject to Income Tax and taxed in the usual way.
  • Take lump sums as and when you need them. A quarter of each lump sum will be tax free and the rest will be subject to Income Tax and taxed in the usual way. Under the Scheme you can make up to 5 withdrawals.
  • Choose to buy an annuity with an insurance company - that is, a regular income for life. You can also take a quarter of your pension account as a tax-free lump sum and then buy an annuity with the rest of your pension account.

You can also make arrangements to take income directly from your pension savings, and continue investing the rest. This is called ‘drawdown’. Drawdown isn’t available from the Wincanton Pension Scheme, but you can transfer out to a company that provides this service if you decide it is the best option for you.

Please remember the amount of retirement benefit you will receive when you retire and during your retirement will depend on:

  • How much you paid into your pension account and how long you saved for.
  • How much Wincanton paid into your account.
  • How your pension account is invested and how well your investment performed
  • The choices you make when you retire, and
  • Annuity rates at the time you retire – if you choose to buy an annuity.

There are lots of options so if you are unsure about how they work, you can get free and impartial government guidance from Pension Wise, There are some other websites that you might find useful when planning your finances - both now and for retirement, such as Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service.

However, most of these services can only provide guidance and therefore can’t tell you which option is best for you. If you’re at all uncertain about what to do, you should get advice from a regulated financial adviser. You can find an independent, regulated financial advisor in your local area by visiting

What are the other benefits of being a member of the Wincanton Pension Scheme?

As a member of the Wincanton Pension Scheme you are also eligible for other benefits:

1) If you die whilst employed by Wincanton, your family may receive the following benefits (subject to HMRC limits):
• The value of your pension account including all of your own contributions plus what the Company has paid, and
• A multiple of your salary

You can nominate family members to receive these payments by completing a Nomination of beneficiary form. You can do this by completing the attached form. Lump sum payments on death are payable under discretionary trust, which means that they are not subject to Inheritance tax (subject to HMRC lifetime allowance limits).

2) If you are suffering from physical or mental incapacity, you may be entitled to take your pension savings early. Some members may qualify for an enhancement.

More information about these benefits can be requested from the Scheme Administrator, Capita.

Who runs the Wincanton Pension Scheme?

The Wincanton Pension Scheme is managed by a trustee company (the “Trustee”) in accordance with the Scheme’s Trust Deed and Rules and legislation.

Amongst other things, the Trustee ensures that your contributions are invested correctly. The Trustee appoints professional advisers to help run the Scheme such as the administrator and investment consultant.

The assets of the Scheme are held completely separate from the Company. The Trustee appoints investment managers to manage and invest the assets.

Currently, the Trustee consists of six Trustee Directors. Wincanton appoints four Trustee Directors and a further two are nominated by the Scheme membership. The Trustee has a duty to act in the best interests of the membership. The names of the Trustee Directors and their advisers are published in the Trustee’s Annual Report and Accounts (available on request from Capita). Alternatively, the names of the Trustee Directors can be found here.

The day to day administration of the Scheme is carried out by:

Address: PO Box 555, Stead House, Darlington DL1 9YT
Telephone: 0345 122 2032
E Mail: