Investing your drawdown (flexible income) savings

It’s important to understand and explore all the investment options available to you at each stage of your retirement journey. This section of the website has been designed to help you decide how to invest your drawdown savings if you have a Pension Choices Plan (PCP) and you are:

  • moving from your PCP personal pension into your PCP drawdown for the first time,
  • adding new money to your PCP drawdown (transfer-in or top-up),
  • planning to change where your PCP drawdown savings are invested (switching funds), or
  • taking money from your PCP drawdown.

This information will assist you in making informed decisions and is especially important if you are not looking to take advice from a financial adviser about how your drawdown savings are invested.

What Investment Options do I have?

Investment Pathways – This option is for you if you don't want to select your own funds. If you use Investment Pathways, you tell us how you plan to use your drawdown savings and we invest your money in the fund or funds we have chosen to match each pathway objective.

Self-select your own funds – This option is for you if you want to choose your own funds.

Remain invested in your existing funds – This option is for you if you don’t want to make any changes to the funds where your drawdown savings are currently invested, when you move into drawdown. You will remain invested exactly as you are. 

Please note you can always change your investment choices in the future.

Read more about each of these options

What are Investment Pathways?

Investment Pathways have been designed to help customers find an investment solution that meets their needs, based on what they intend to do with their drawdown savings. They may be suitable for you if you don’t want to take financial advice but don’t want to select your own funds either. If you choose Investment Pathways, you select one of four pathways based on how you intend to use your drawdown savings during the next 5 years. Each pathway leads to a different investment solution and the pathway you choose will take you to the one that is most suited to your requirements.

We’ll ask you to think carefully about your financial plans for the next 5 years then select the pathway from the table below that best describes your current intentions.

Pathway 1

I have no plans to touch my money in the next 5 years

 Investments that aim to offer the potential for the best possible long-term growth, with a medium level of risk.

Pathway 2

I plan to use my money to set up a guaranteed income (annuity) within the next 5 years

Investments that aim to protect the level of income you can get when you come to buy your annuity, for a medium level of risk.

Pathway 3

I plan to start taking my money as a long-term income within the next 5 years. This includes taking money as and when you need it over the longer term.

Investments that aim to offer the potential for some long-term growth, with a medium level of risk.

Pathway 4

I plan to take out all my money within the next 5 years. 

Low risk investments that aim to keep pace with inflation.

Self-select from any of the other funds available to you 

For details of the full range of funds available to you, please see the Pension Choices Plan fund guide. This provides information about each fund to help you make your fund choices, such as the level of risk associated with each fund, fund charges and other costs.

You don’t have to make any changes to your existing funds when you move into drawdown. You can remain invested exactly as you are.

If you’re unsure which funds you are currently invested in, please take a look at your Annual Benefits Statement or contact us and we can help you.

Please make sure your drawdown savings and the investment choices you’ve made still meet your needs, particularly if your financial circumstances or retirement objectives have changed, or you have a large proportion of your money invested in cash or cash-like investments.

For details of the full range of investment choices available to you, please see the Pension Choices Plan fund guide. This provides information about each fund to help you make your fund choices, such as the level of risk associated with each fund, fund charges and other costs.

What if my circumstances change?

Whatever option you choose at this stage can always be changed in the future, including changing from one pathway to another if your plans or circumstances change. You can move money between funds or Investment Pathways at any time and we currently don’t charge you for this. If this changes we’ll let you know.

Be sure to shop around

Before making any final decisions, speak to your Financial Adviser if you have one. If you don’t have a financial adviser and would like to find one in your area, visit unbiased.co.uk.

The drawdown options that we offer might not be best for you. It’s worth comparing what you can get from other providers as you might be able to get a better deal.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) brings together three financial guidance bodies: the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. They offer free and impartial services, set up by the government, to help you understand and improve your finances. They can provide helpful information on how to shop around, and you can use their drawdown comparison tool to see what different providers offer.

Pension Wise is a free and impartial guidance service offered by the government to help you understand your retirement options. The service is available at pensionwise.gov.uk, or you can call them on 0800 280 8880 and book an appointment to meet someone in person.