What you choose depends largely on how confident you are making investment choices and on your attitude to risk.
What you invest in can have a big effect on how well off you are in retirement so it’s important to take the time to think about your investment choice. While we can’t give you advice, we’ve broken down the choices to make it easier for you to decide.
1. Do it for me
Your scheme will have a default fund or strategy chosen by your employer or trustees. If you don’t want to choose an option for yourself, you'll automatically be invested in this.
2. Guide me
If you feel the default option isn’t right for you, your scheme may offer a shortlist of other funds for you to choose from.
3. Leave it with me
If you have the time and experience to build your own portfolio then you can choose from the full range available to your scheme.
If you don't make an investment choice, your contributions - along with any your employer makes - will be invested in the default fund chosen by them or the scheme trustees. This may be one of our LifePath funds, or it may be a lifestyle fund designed specifically for your scheme.
In the early years, a typical default fund aims for growth and invests in riskier types of investment, like company shares. Then, as you approach your selected retirement date, it gradually and automatically switches from these riskier investments into those generally considered less risky, like bonds (also know as fixed interest securities) issued by companies (corporate bonds) and governments (government bonds) and cash. The investments it switches into will depend on the retirement outcome it's targeting.
Your employer will have chosen to target one of three outcomes:
- Stay invested and draw an income (known as income drawdown)
- Buy an annuity (for those who want a guaranteed income)
- Cash, which assumes you’ll cash in your savings
They will also have chosen a scheme retirement age. If you'd prefer a different outcome or feel you want to retire at a different age, you may want to choose an alternative. See the 'Guide me' section below. To find out about your options at retirement, go to Your Retirement Planner.
You can find out more about the default fund for your scheme in your Member or Investment Options booklet, which you can view by logging into your account then selecting View and manage and looking under the Documents tab.
If you want to look beyond the default fund chosen by your employer, the first step is to find out if your scheme has access to a 'core' fund range - a shortlist of funds - to choose from. You can check if your employer’s scheme has a core fund range in your Member or Investment Options booklet, which you can view by logging into your account then selecting View and manage and clicking on Documents.
If you’re a more confident investor or you have help from an adviser, you can choose from our range of self-select funds. Log-in to TargetPlan to see the range of funds available. To choose funds and switch out of your current funds, select View and manage followed by the Switch funds button under your plan value or at the bottom of the page.
The Self-Select range includes funds that hold different types of investments (such as shares, bonds or cash), and those which invest in different countries and industries . This gives you the opportunity to build a well-diversified portfolio suited to your own circumstances. You can change the funds you’re invested in at any time.
Be sure to read the fund factsheets for details of where they invest and the risks before choosing.
Your pension choice now includes a growing number of responsible investments, which consider environmental, social or governance (ESG) factors as part of their investment objectives. Offering a choice of funds that match savers' values is a key priority for us.
In 2019, we also committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions for our default funds by 2050, and to halving emissions by 2030. To help achieve those targets, 80% of the assets in our LifePath default fund now consider ESG factors where savers are in the growth stage of investment (as at December 2022). We expect this to grow as we progress towards our net zero targets.