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How your plan’s default investment can work for you

All workplace pension plans have a default investment option. This is the fund or strategy that your pensions savings are invested in if you prefer not to choose your own investments for any reason.

Investing your pension savings

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

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

  • You can choose the funds yourself, from the range available through your pension 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.
  • If you do not choose funds yourself, we will invest your contributions in the default investment for your plan. This may be a single fund or a number of funds combined as a strategy. You can find out what the default investment for your plan is when you log in to PlanViewer.

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Default pension investments

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 is no guarantee that they will be suitable for your particular retirement goals.

However, if you would 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 changed if it is no longer considered to be right for your plan.

Working towards retirement

Nowadays many plans choose what is known as a ‘lifestyle strategy’ or ‘working life strategy’ as their default.  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 preserve 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.

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 for retirement.
  • Your retirement age - you should 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.

Remember tools will only give an indication and cannot be relied upon.

Want to review your investments?

Login to PlanViewer to see where your workplace pension is invested.

Want to find out more about investing?

Learn more about asset classes, risk and diversification.