Understanding Workplace Pension fund risk ratings

We've developed risk ratings to help provide an indication of the potential level of risk and reward for a fund based on the type of assets which may be held within the fund. Other companies use different descriptions and therefore these risk ratings should not be considered as generic across the fund management industry.

We keep our risk ratings under regular review and because of this they may be subject to change in the future. We therefore recommend that before making any fund choice in the future you understand the appropriate risk rating before making a decision.

Please consider that the value of investments can go down as well as up. You could get back less than invested. You should also discuss your decision and the appropriateness of this risk rating with an adviser.

Minimal Risk

These funds may invest in a combination of deposits, money market instruments1 and other types of interest bearing securities.

Lower Risk

These funds may invest in assets, combination of assets or defensive strategies, where the chances of values falling and rising are likely to lie between those of funds investing in money market instruments1 and funds investing solely in corporate bonds2.

Lower to Medium Risk

These funds may invest in corporate bonds2 or multi-asset strategies with a higher weighting in corporate bonds2 (and other comparable strategies).

Medium Risk

These funds may invest in multi-asset strategies with a higher weighting in equities3 (or with significant derivative use), while funds investing mainly in property, high yield or government bonds (such as UK Gilts4) are also in this category.

Medium to Higher Risk

These funds offer a diverse geographical spread of equity3 investment or have multi-asset strategies with a specialist focus (e.g. ethical). The equity funds within this category will have greater overseas exposure and underlying volatility5 than the "medium risk" sector.

Higher Risk

These are specialist equity funds that focus on set geographical regions or a particular type of share e.g. shares of smaller companies or those that conform to certain criteria.

To find out a fund's current risk rating please refer to the appropriate fund factsheet.

Quarterly Factsheets

To find out about any recent changes to our Workplace Pension Fund range, please go to the Workplace Pension Fund Updates page.

1  These are cash and investments similar to cash such as bank deposits, certificates of deposits, fixed interest securities or floating rate notes. They usually have a life of less than a year.

2 Loans to companies where the buyer of the corporate bond lends money in return for regular interest payments and the promise that the initial sum will be repaid on a specified later date.

3 Equities are also known as shares or stocks. They are a share of the ownership of a company.

 A bond issued by the British Government. Bonds issued by the UK government are called gilts.

5  A measure of how much an investment's price is likely to fluctuate during a set period of time.

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