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How your workplace pension is invested

When we receive your pension contributions, we invest them in managed funds, which hold money from hundreds of pension scheme members like you. These funds, in turn, invest your money in assets such as company shares, government bonds and cash deposits.

When thinking about your investments it’s also important to think about the date you select for your retirement, as it can have a significant impact on the value of your pension pot. This is particularly important if you are invested in the default option as many plans reduce the risk of underlying investments as you get closer to your selected retirement age. For example, if you select a retirement date and continue to work for a few more years your investments could potentially be growing more slowly as they may be invested in lower risk assets. Or if you retire earlier than the date you’ve selected, your pension pot could be invested in higher risk assets than you might want. 


There are two ways of deciding which funds your money goes into:

Let the experts choose for you

If you don’t choose funds yourself, we'll invest your contributions in the default investment for your plan. This may be a single fund, or several funds combined as a strategy.

If you’d rather not choose your own funds, a default investment gives you the reassurance of knowing that it has been selected by pension experts. In addition, it will be carefully monitored and may be updated if it is decided that a different option would be better for your plan as a whole.

Default funds and strategies are intended to meet the needs of a wide range of pension investors – people of different ages, backgrounds and income levels. There’s no guarantee that your plan’s default investment will be suitable for your particular retirement goals.

You can find out what the default investment for your plan is when you log in to PlanViewer.

Investments that change during your working life

The default investment in a pension plan is often a type of investment known as a ‘lifestyle strategy’ or ‘working life strategy’. This means that during the early years of your working life, we invest your money in a way that has the potential for long-term growth. 

When you’re closer to retirement, we aim to protect the value of your savings by gradually moving your money into more cautious investments. With this type of strategy, all the changes to your investments happen automatically – you don’t need to do anything. 

If your plan has this type of investment as its default, the strategy may also be available as a self-select option. 

Choose your own funds

If you prefer, you can choose the funds your pension is invested in from the range available through your plan. This is often called self-select and it allows you to tailor an investment strategy to your particular long-term goals. 

You can see which funds are available through your plan when you log in to PlanViewer. Each fund has its own factsheet, and you have the option of asking a financial adviser to help you choose.

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Reviewing your pension

Whether you self-select your own funds or stay with your plan’s default investment, it’s a good idea to review your pension savings on a regular basis, to make sure they’re right for your retirement goals. Two important things to check are:

  • How much you are saving - you might want to review your contributions and think about whether you’re saving enough. Our retirement savings guidelines help you to understand more about how much you should save each year so that you have enough money in retirement to maintain your lifestyle. Learn more about how much you should save each year so that you have enough money in retirement.
  • Your retirement age - you can also check that the retirement age shown on your account fits with your plans. This is especially important with lifestyle strategies because the gradual changes to your investments are all based on how many years are left until your selected retirement age. Check your retirement age.

Important information - tools will only give an indication and cannot be relied upon. 

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