Changing where your company pension plan is invested
If you’re considering changing the funds your plan is invested in, we’ll be happy to help. It’s important to note that once you’ve told us what you’ve decided to do, you may not be able to change your mind. Please be sure you understand all your options, and the effect of any changes you make. There are a few things you should think about before you make any decisions.
If you have any questions once you’ve read this summary, or need any help understanding your options, either speak to your HR department or call us on 0808 234 3030, or +44 178 644 8844 if you’re calling from abroad.
How a company pension plan works
There’s a variety of pension plans available. They’re designed to provide a tax-efficient way of helping you to build up a pension pot to provide for your retirement.
Payments might be made into your plan by you, your employer, or both of you. Pension plans offer tax relief on your payments, subject to certain limits.
Your money will be invested in funds looked after by fund managers, who try to achieve the best returns possible. Any growth in your plan will be largely tax-free too. A charge is taken for managing your plan. Details of your fund choices and charges can be found in your annual statement. If you don’t have your annual statement or you’ve lost it, you can request a new one. Just call us.
In most cases, when you take your benefits, you can take up to 25% of your plan tax-free and the remainder will be taxable.
Tax rules are complex and require careful consideration and the impact will depend on your individual circumstances. Taxation, legislation and HM Revenue & Customs practice is liable to change without notice. You may want to seek advice.
These vary depending on your plan. We can explain these if you get in touch. They could include:
- Switching some or all of your money into another fund(s)
- Directing future payments to another fund(s)
Things to consider before making your decision
There are a few things you should think about before making any changes:
- There’s no guarantee that one investment will perform any better than another. In making your decision you should consider your attitude to:
- balancing investment risk and reward.
- your level of investment knowledge.
- how long you think you’ll remain invested.
- Charges may differ between funds.
- Switching out of the With-Profits Fund could result in a market value reduction causing the amount switched out of the fund to be reduced.
- You may lose any guarantees, benefits and options on your existing investments.
- Possible delays: in some circumstances your switch instruction could be delayed. We’ll let you know if this applies.
- Any changes you make will be applied to all future payments unless you tell us you want to change your choice again.
If you’re invested in - or have access to - a lifestyle option, you should think about how and when you plan to take your benefits. This option automatically moves your investment into less risky funds, as you get closer to taking your benefits. If you’d like to know more, just give us a call.
If you’re invested in a combination of with-profits and a lifestyle option, please get in touch before making any decisions about changing your funds.
It’s important to know that the value of investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you paid in.
Protecting yourself from pension scams
According to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and internet crime reporting centre, an estimated £1.2bn is lost to scams every year. So if you’re thinking of reinvesting the money from your plan, take a minute to find out more, and stay ahead of the scammers. There is also some very useful information available from The Pensions Regulator.
What to do now
If you have any questions or need more help understanding your options, you can either speak to your HR department, or contact us on 0808 234 3030 or +44 178 644 8844 if you’re calling from abroad. We can’t give you advice or make your decision for you, but we’ll be happy to help you understand your plan and talk you through all your available options and their possible implications. We’re here 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and happy to help in any way we can. You’ll need your plan number to hand when you call.
Alternatively, speak with a financial adviser - if you don’t have one, you can get details of financial advisers from pru.co.uk and selecting ‘contact a financial adviser’. You may be charged for their services.