Setting up a drawdown plan: which investment options do you want your pension paid?


If your pension account is invested in more than one investment option, you can choose which investment options your pension payments and lump-sum withdrawals come out of.

Two drawdown methods to choose from

  • Your choice
  • Pro-rata

Your choice

You can nominate the order of investment options which pension payments and lump-sum withdrawals are drawn from.

This is how it works:

  • Your payment is drawn from your first nominated investment option until the balance in this option runs out.
  • If there are no funds in an investment option you’ve nominated, your payment is then drawn from your next nominated investment option until that reduces to zero, and so on.
  • If the balance in a nominated option is lower than the payment amount, part of the payment will come out of that investment option and the rest from the next nominated investment option.
  • Once your nominated investment options have been exhausted, the default order applies.


Bruce nominates the following investment option order for his monthly pension payments:

  1. Cash
  2. Conservative
  3. Growth
  4. High Growth.
His payment will be drawn from Cash until the balance in this option runs out. His payment will then be drawn from Conservative, until the balance reduces to zero, and so on.

If you choose the ‘Your choice’ drawdown method, you’ll need to review your drawdown instructions from time to time because as your pension payments are withdrawn, the allocation of funds across your chosen investment options will change. Over time, your account may reflect an investment strategy that’s not appropriate for you.

If this occurs, you may need to rebalance your portfolio.


You can also nominate to have your pension payments and lump-sum withdrawals drawn from your account in proportion to the balances held in each investment option at the time of payment.


Margaret chooses the ‘Pro-rata’ drawdown method. At the time of her fortnightly pension payment, 60% of her balance is invested in the Cash option and 40% in Conservative Balanced. As a result, 60% of her payment comes out of the Cash option and 40% from Conservative Balanced.

What happens if you don't make a choice?

If your account is invested in more than one investment option and you don’t choose a drawdown method, our default drawdown order applies.

The default drawdown order

  1. Cash
  2. Australian Bond
  3. Conservative
  4. Conservative Balanced
  5. Diversified Credit Income
  6. Balanced
  7. Sustainable Balanced
  8. Growth
  9. High Growth
  10. Sustainable High Growth
  11. Listed Property
  12. Australian Shares
  13. International Shares
  14. Global Environmental Opportunities
  15. Australian Equity Income
  16. Global Companies in Asia.

Get advice

Want to speak with an expert about how a pension drawdown investment might benefit you? A qualified UniSuper financial adviser can assess your personal circumstances to help tailor your investment strategy.

To speak to UniSuper Advice, call 1800 823 842.