Covid-19 and your investments
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused sharp rises and falls in fund values, and you may be worried about your pension. Any decisions about fund choices are important as they could have a big effect on your future benefits, and we recommend you speak to an independent financial adviser (IFA) before making any decisions. There’s a list of IFAs in your area at www.unbiased.co.uk

My fund choices

There is a range of investment fund choices available to you as a member of AVC Extra, falling into two categories – Lifestyle strategies and investment funds. The options you select will very much depend upon how hands-on you want to be in managing your investments.
 
You should check your fund choices regularly to make sure that they're still right for you.

If you are investing in a Lifestyle strategy you should think about choosing your Target Retirement Age (TRA). This is the age you would like to retire, and it could be earlier or later than your Normal Retirement Age. As you get nearer to your TRA, your funds will automatically start moving from 'higher growth', riskier funds to more 'stable', lower risk funds.

Please remember you should review your TRA regularly in case your retirement plans change.

 

Lifestyle strategies 

If you don’t feel comfortable managing your own investments, you can opt for the ‘hands-off’ approach with a Lifestyle strategy, which will make the decisions on your behalf. Your holdings are automatically moved to the funds which are believed to be most appropriate for the length of time you have left until retirement.

As you get nearer to your Target Retirement Age, your investments move from funds which have higher growth potential but tend to be more risky, to more ‘stable’ funds which have a lower risk of losing value.

You can find factsheets for each Lifestyle strategy below.

Annuity Purchase Lifestyle

As you approach your TRA, your money is moved into funds which aim to maintain enough growth to protect the value of the annuity income you may wish to buy with your pension savings.

  

Flexible Drawdown Lifestyle 

A greater proportion of your money is left invested in higher-risk funds when you reach your TRA. This means the money that you keep invested has the chance to keep growing and potentially last you longer in retirement.

 

Full Cash Withdrawal Lifestyle 

Most of your money is moved into funds with the aim of maintaining the value of your pension pot so it keeps pace with inflation.


Investment funds

If you want more of an active role in how your investments are managed, you can choose from the range of investment funds chosen by the Trustee. You can choose to invest in one fund or a combination of funds and Lifestyle strategies, depending on your personal preference.

You can find the fund factsheets for each investment fund below. 

Corporate Bond Fund

This fund predominantly invests in bonds issued by global companies rather than the UK government.

146 KB

Deposit Fund

This fund invests in money-market funds and UK government treasury bills.

158 KB

Global Equity Fund

This fund invests in shares (equities) in companies from around the world.

Long Term Growth Fund

This fund invests in a wide range of investment types from around the world.

Socially Responsible Equity Fund

This fund invests in shares (equities) in companies from around the world with very strong environmental, social and governance ratings, and minimal controversies. It avoids industries like tobacco, weapons, alcohol and adult entertainment.

UK Government Fixed-Interest Bond Fund

This fund invests in UK government bonds which provide a fixed rate of interest.

UK Government Index-Linked Bond Fund

This fund invests in UK government bonds which provide a rate of interest linked to inflation.

 

On-going charges for all the above funds are paid for by levying a charge against each individual member's AVC Extra account. Information can be found on the factsheets above.

Where to go for advice

It is strongly recommended that you speak to an independent financial adviser (IFA) before making any decisions about your financial future.

The Scheme’s administrator, Railpen, has appointed Liverpool Victoria (LV) to provide advice to all Fund members. LV will be offering its services at a discounted rate for Fund members. You can contact LV on 0800 023 4187.

You can also find a list of IFAs in your area at unbiased.co.uk.