Investments

The Scheme offers a range of investment choices to help you grow your money. 

Your investment choices include shares, property, bonds and cash. These different types of investments have different characteristics. Some are riskier than others. The riskier funds may experience greater changes in value (both up and down) in the short term, but they aim to produce higher returns in the long term. Others are more stable, but less likely to produce as high returns in the long term. The chart below shows how investments types are generally expected to perform in terms of their riskiness and likely returns. 

Please note, there is no guarantee of how investments will perform, these are general rules that have applied in the past.

Through the Scheme you can invest in:

Cash This is similar to putting your money in a savings account and earning interest on it. Cash is lower risk than equities or bonds, but the expected return is lower too.

Bonds and gilts – Bonds are loans issued by companies and governments and pay interest for a set period. UK Government bonds are called gilts. Bonds and gilts are generally low risk and have lower expected returns than equities.

Property – This can be residential or commercial and the returns will be based on rent and property values. Property tends to be lower risk than investing in equities but higher risk than cash and bonds.

Diversified growth funds – These invest in a range of assets, some riskier than others, with the aim of spreading the risk and generating regular good returns. A diversified growth fund tends to be lower risk than an equity fund but higher risk than bond and cash funds.

Equities – These are shares in companies, either in the UK, Europe, or worldwide. In the long term, equities have higher expected growth than bonds or cash. In the short term equities may change in value (both up and down) dramatically. This makes them a higher risk than the other investment types.

If you don’t make any choices about where to invest your Personal Account, you will automatically be invested in the Drawdown Lifecycle Strategy.

This may not necessarily be right for everyone, as it will depend upon your attitude to risk and your retirement goals.

How do I decide where to invest?

You will need to think about whether you want your investments managed for you (do it for me) or whether you want to manage your own investments (leave it to me).

If you want the ‘do it for me’ option, then you should look at the Lifecycle Strategies.  If you want the ‘leave it to me’ option then you should look at the Freechoice options. Once you’ve looked at this information, please read Making Your Choice to help you decide.

The ‘do it for me’ investment option, known as a Lifecycle Strategy, has been created for you by the Trustee. It automatically invests in higher risk funds while you’re younger to give your Personal Account the best chance to grow. Your investments are then gradually moved to lower risk funds the closer you get to retirement to protect the value of your Personal Account.

The Scheme has two different Lifecycle Strategies to choose from: Drawdown and Annuity.  Your investments switch to different funds as you approach retirement depending on whether you want to use your Personal Account for drawdown or to buy an annuity (see the retirement options pages to find out more about drawdown and annuities).

The charts below show how your investments are switched as you move towards retirement. Under both strategies you will be invested in equites while you are more than 25 years from retirement. Your savings will then be gradually moved into the Diversified Growth Fund (which invests in a range of assets).  

When you are less than 10 years from retirement, the Drawdown Lifecycle Strategy keeps more of your money in the Diversified Growth Fund, with a view to generating regular long-term returns to fund your retirement. The Annuity Lifecycle Strategy begins to switch your investments to bond funds, which should help protect the buying power of your Personal Account if you want an annuity.  

The Drawdown Lifecycle Strategy (the default strategy)

 

 

The Annuity Lifecycle Strategy

You can use the Investment Guide to to help you think about which of these strategies is right for you. 

Please note that your default retirement age is 65. If you’re invested in a Lifecycle Strategy and you’re planning to retire at a different age then you can change your target retirement age. You need to log in to your account - lwp.aegon.co.uk/targetplan- to do this. It’s important to update your retirement age to make sure that your investments are moved in line with when you plan to retire.

The ‘leave it to me’ investment option gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of funds to invest in, known as Freechoice. This gives you more control over how your account is invested, but no automatic switching takes place as you approach retirement.

You can find out more about the particular funds on offer by logging into your account and looking at the fund factsheets. Please remember that the past performance of these funds should not be seen as indication of future performance.

You can see how investing in different funds might affect your Personal Account value by logging in to the MyPath retirement modeller. If you’re not sure whether you want to invest in Lifecycle or Freechoice, try our quiz on page 8 of the Investment Guide to help you decide which option may be best for you.

If you wish to invest in funds not available through the Scheme you have the option of a partial transfer. This is where you can transfer part of your Personal Account to another registered pension arrangement of your choice. Please contact Aegon for further information. 

You can mix and match your options so, in summary, you could invest in:

  1. Drawdown Lifecycle, or
  2. Annuity Lifecycle, or
  3. Freechoice, or
  4. A Lifecycle Strategy and Freechoice.

How do I know which option is best for me?

You will need to think about the following:

  • How much risk you are prepared to take with your investments.  For help understanding your attitude to risk use the risk questionnaire available at lwp.aegon.co.uk/targetplan
  • What you want to do with your pension at retirement. For more details about the options, go to the retirement options pages.
  • Whether you want to actively manage your investments (’leave it to me’) or use a Lifecycle Strategy (’do it for me’). Take our quiz on page 8 of the Investment Guide to help you think about which of these is right for you.
  • How close you are to retirement.

For further information, you can watch our video ‘Investments Further Explained’ and read the Investment Guide.

 

Investments Further Explained
Investments Further Explained

Remember all investments have an element of risk and AXA cannot advise you on how you should invest your money. If you are at all unsure about investments or your pension you should speak to an independent financial adviser, but they will usually charge for this service. You can find an adviser at www.unbiased.co.uk

What do I do once I’ve chosen?

You can review your current investments and change them by logging in to your Aegon pension account - lwp.aegon.co.uk/targetplan. If you have any issues with logging into your account, please contact Aegon.

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