As Chair of Aegon UK’s Master Trust, my job is to ensure that Aegon is offering the right support and enhancing the member experience wherever possible.

Here I outline a few of what we, the trustees, feel are both key initiatives and areas to highlight to you from the last quarter.

Communications and engagement in 2024

As a commitment to continuous improvement and enhancing the experience for our members, we liaise with several sub-committees who focus on different areas of the Master Trust’s performance.

Communication is incredibly important as a means of encouraging members to engage with their pension. How messages are written, presented and delivered can all play a part. To help us assess how successful we are in this area, our Communications and Engagement sub-committee use a range of metrics and targets to measure our progress and identify how and where improvements could be made. They also carry out member research and listening sessions to gain valuable feedback that can help us to improve.

To support you with your own communications, Aegon have a range of resources you can use to create your own pension engagement campaigns.

Investment performance and social responsibility

The Aegon Master Trust trustees work closely with our investment sub-committee to ensure the Scheme receives regular focused oversight. A quarterly review meeting between the investment sub-committee, Aegon and investment adviser Isio, provides guidance and expert oversight of the investment topics that are essential to the successful management of the Scheme. For example, this may include analysis of underlying fund investment performance or the Scheme's approach to responsible investment and climate related issues. Changes may be recommended to us, if considered to be in the best interests of members.

Aegon BlackRock LifePath Flexi – our investment default

Aegon BlackRock LifePath Flexi is the default fund of Aegon Master Trust, offering members a retirement solution, built around their changing needs throughout life. It is a target-dated investment strategy that automatically manages a member's savings from their early working life to right through their retirement.

We are pleased to report that the fund had positive growth in Q4 2023 and over the calendar year 2023, driven by strong returns from equities (company shares) and positive fixed income (government and corporate bonds) performance.

If you or your members want to find out more about the performance of the Blackrock Lifepath Flexi fund, view our fund factsheet.

Sustainability Goals – working towards our net-zero targets

We believe that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are important considerations when planning for long-term member investment outcomes. Climate change in particular presents significant risks as well as opportunities. Within Aegon Master Trust, we're committed to reducing our carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 and to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.1 In addition, over 90% of assets within the growth stage of our default fund, Aegon BlackRock LifePath Flexi now exclude investments that are harmful to the environment and/or society (as at 31 December 2023).

More information on our progress towards better climate management and our net-zero targets can be found in our Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) summary report. TCFD is a regulatory framework, set up to improve and increase reporting on climate-related financial information.

Engaging in continuous feedback

We were pleased to welcome a representative from a participating Master Trust employer to a recent trustee meeting, to share their experiences with Aegon and ask us questions about the Master Trust. In this particular session we focused on discussions on member engagement, the TargetPlan app, financial wellbeing and investment performance.

Speaking with both employers and their members in sessions like these offer a valuable opportunity for us to engage in open dialogue and receive direct feedback. We welcome any insights or comments from employers and their members as part of our commitment and responsibilities as trustees.

The Aegon Master Trust summit 2024

We wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who attended the AMT summit on 12 March. We were pleased to see so many of you there and hope you enjoyed the activities throughout the day. Discussing matters relevant to you and your members in person is always incredibly valuable to us and we hope you found the day of value too. We will be taking on your feedback and look forward to sharing our reflections in the next newsletter.

Your feedback is important to us

We, the trustees, are always keen to hear your, and your members’ feedback and views on the scheme. We’d encourage you to get in touch with us directly by email on  to let us know your thoughts.

As a reminder and to keep your information secure, if contacting us by email, please don’t include any personal, financial, or banking information as email isn’t a secure method of communication. If you decide to send information in this way, you’re doing so at your own risk as there’s no guarantee that any email sent by you to us will be received or remain private during transmission. Where secure journeys are available, please login to complete these.

2030 emissions target relative to 2019 levels and applies to scope 1 and 2 emissions from listed equities and corporate fixed income only.