Our Investment Proposition

Workplace savings

Well governed investment choices

Aiming for investment growth is vital, but we believe we have a commitment to you and your clients to:

  • make it easier for your clients to make their investment choice with confidence
  • aim to ensure that the investment choice they make on day one remains equally relevant to the day they retire
  • regularly test and re-test our understanding of investment risk and reward in light of market changes
  • offer expert investment management at value for money prices
  • help your clients prepare for the type of retirement income they’ll want
  • provide an investment proposition that offers flexibility and choice through ready-made and rigorously governed Pension Investment Approaches (PIAs) and our range of self-select funds.

Helping you and your clients

We want to do everything we can to help your clients achieve what they need from their pension plan.  Get in touch to see how we can help.

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About our investment proposition

  • Our approaches

    Our investment proposition offers flexibility and choice through our ready-made and rigorously governed Pension Investment Approaches (PIAs) and Premier Pension Investment Approaches (PPIAs).

    • There are three risk categories to choose from – Adventurous, Balanced and Cautious, reducing exposure as employees move towards retirement.
    • PIAs allow employees to benefit from Pension Freedoms – they can target annuity, encashment or flexible access. Each outcome is designed to prepare their pension investment in its last 5 years to the retirement choice they make.
    • Our default offering is Balanced, targeting flexible access.
    • Our PPIAs build on our standard PIAs, aiming for better potential returns while targeting broadly the same level of risk.
    • PPIAs are priced differently from standard PIAs, with an additional charge of 0.3% Total Annual Fund Charge, which allows us to access a potentially better performing blend of assets and strategies (which incur higher costs).
    • PPIAs also aim to help bridge some of the gap between shortfall in pension contributions and customer expectations upon retirement.

    Our governance

    Our yearly governance review examines the underlying assets used within each of these investment approaches and allows us to make changes seamlessly.

    This is in addition to our full investment governance review, which considers the underlying assets, funds and 
    life-styling approach, to ensure it is still appropriate.

    We make the information about the outcomes available to advisers, employers and members.

    View all our Investment Literature

  • For employees looking for more flexibility and choice to develop personalised solutions, we offer a wide range of passively and actively managed funds, with different levels of risk, from some of the UK's leading fund managers.

    These funds have no lifestyling, so employees will need to be comfortable about managing their own levels of risk.

    While there are a number of different ways to evaluate risk, we use the following definitions to help the member decide on their appropriate investment approach:

    • Secure
    • Cautious
    • Balanced
    • Progressive
    • Adventurous
    • Specialist.

    You can find further details about these in our Pension Funds Investor's Guide (PDF) .

    View all our Investment Literature

Glidepaths

  • We’ve been studying customer behaviour since the introduction of the 2015 pension freedoms and we've seen that the majority plan to remain invested or to take income flexibly, rather than following the traditional path of buying an annuity.  For customers to take full advantage of the new freedoms, and use their pension fund the way they want to in later life, it’s particularly important for them to be invested appropriately.

    We’ve made strides in helping workplace customers become more engaged with their retirement savings so that they can proactively make informed decisions on their future, our research showed that there was still more to be done. To reflect their changing behaviour, we changed our default investment strategy from targeting an annuity to targeting flexible access. This means that the value of customers' pensions will be gradually moved into a mix of equities as well as bonds and cash over the five years preceding their selected retirement date.

    The change took place in April 2017 for new customers and from June 2017 for existing customers. We strongly believe that this is in the best interests of the majority of our customers, and will help them to make the most of the choices available to them. However, customers who didn’t want us to change the investment of their plan will be able to opt out of the change.

    During 2017, we wrote to you, to employers and to customers to explain these changes and options further.

    The strategies we’ve changed

    Current Default Investment Strategy 
    • Our default investment strategy for workplace pension schemes previously targeted a secure income via the purchase of an annuity.
    New Default Investment Strategy
    • We’ve changed default investment strategy to target flexible access. This means that the value of a customer’s pension will be gradually moved to a mix of equities, bonds and cash over the five years preceding their selected retirement date.
    • We automatically switched customers invested in the previous default investment strategy to the new strategy if they have more than five years to their selected retirement age and they do not ask to opt out.
  • February 2017

    In February 2017 we wrote to you and to employers with more information. There was an opportunity to opt-out schemes where the current default was considered more appropriate.

    April to May 2017

    Unless a scheme was opted out, during April through to May we wrote to customers with more than five years to retirement, giving information on the new default investment strategy and confirming that the value of their pension would be switched following a 60 day opt out period. Customers were able to contact us at any time during the opt-out period to confirm if they did not want the change to be made to their plan.

    June to July 2017

    During June 2017 through to July 2017, when the opt-out period ended, we began the switching process for those customers and schemes that had not opted out. We then confirmed to the customer once this had been done.

    We believe the new default investment strategy better supports the increased flexibility customers will have at retirement.

Risks

Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits your clients receive from their pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of their plan when they decide to take their benefits which isn’t guaranteed, and could go down as well as up. The value of their plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.

How we can help

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Why engaging employees about their workplace savings is important.

Employee engagement

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