Get to know your IWDC pension
As an IWDC member, you can choose not only how and when you want to retire, but how your money is invested in the meantime.
All of this can have a real effect on how much you end up with, so it’s worth taking the time to get to know your pension and make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decisions for you.
Here’s a few things to look out for:
1. Your investment funds
As an IWDC member, the money you pay into your pension (known as contributions) is invested in a variety of specially selected funds.
You can choose these funds for yourself, or take a more hands-off approach and have them managed for you by the Scheme’s investment manager, RPMI.
If you decide to manage the funds yourself, there are five ‘self-select’ funds to choose from, each with different levels of risk.
If you would prefer to have the funds managed for you, then you will be invested into a Lifestyle Strategy. This means your investments will automatically change over time as you move towards your retirement.
Either way, it’s important to keep an eye on your funds and consider regularly whether they still meet your needs.
For example, if you have just joined the Railways Pension Scheme and don’t plan to retire soon, you may want to take more risks for higher returns.
If you are getting closer to retirement, you may have a more cautious approach to investments and opt for more ‘stable’ funds which have a lower risk of losing value.
More information about all of the fund options available can be found here
And you can review your investment funds at any time by logging in to your myRPS account
2. Your Target Retirement Age
If you’re invested in one of the lifestyle strategies mentioned above you can choose a Target Retirement Age (TRA).
This sets the age at which you hope to stop work. And it’s important because it affects the way your investments are handled.
Ten years before your TRA, your contributions will be automatically moved into investment funds that are deemed more stable. While these funds may grow at a smaller rate, they should protect your Personal Retirement Account (PRA) from any sudden changes in the market and, in particular, from any losses you wouldn’t have time to recoup.
Your TRA can be anywhere between 55 and 75 years old, or from age 50 if you have a Protected Pension Age.
It can be checked and changed at any time, by logging in to your myRPS accountt
Once logged in you can also use the retirement modeller to see what impact changing your TRA could have on your pension overall.
3. Your savings
You can check how much is in your PRA at any time by logging in to your myRPS account
Once logged in you can also use our retirement modeller to see what your PRA might be worth by the time you retire.
If you’re not sure whether it’s going to be enough, then you can use our retirement budgeting calculator to work out how much it might cost to get the retirement lifestyle you want, and compare the two.
More information about getting your savings on track can be found here
And if you’re still paying in to your IWDC pension, you can find more details about how to boost your PRA through Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) here
4. Your helping hand
Before making any changes to your IWDC pension, you may wish to get independent financial advice.
Liverpool Victoria (LV) has been chosen as the official partner to give RPS members access to financial advice. LV can be contacted on 0800 023 4187.
You are still free to choose your own Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). You can find an IFA in your area at unbiased.co.uk.
You can find out more about your retirement options as an IWDC member in the RPS here
You can also get general pensions information and guidance through MoneyHelper