Frequently asked questions
Here are some frequently asked questions from our customers about the impact of Covid-19
You’ll find information on some of the most common questions our customers are asking about the current situation.
Financial markets don’t like bad news. And the current Covid-19 pandemic is unfortunately no exception to that rule. So, you’ll no doubt be aware of the impact this is having on stock markets at the moment. And although downturns are not unusual, they can be very unsettling.
Since 1980 there have been many declines of 20% and more, lasting at least two months. The SARS outbreak in February 2003, Avian flu in 2006, the new strain of Swine flu in 2009, Ebola outbreaks of 2014 and 2018, and the Zika virus in 2016 all caused significant stock market turbulence.
Global stock markets weathered all of these and markets did recover over time. However, of course, what happened in the past isn’t always a guide to what might happen in the future.
It’s a very natural reaction to feel concerned when you see the value of your investments fall. Or perhaps to think that you need to do something.
Many financial experts will say it’s best to sit tight during times of market uncertainty. However only an adviser can let you know what’s the right thing for you to do.
Remember, if the value has fallen it’s only a potential loss. It’s only once you decide to cash in your investment, that it actually becomes a loss.
If you’re worried or thinking of making changes to your investment, we recommend you speak to a financial adviser. If you don’t already have an adviser, go to pru.co.uk/find-an-adviser/ where you’ll be able to find an adviser local to you.
Like many other types of investments, you may have seen a reduction in the value of your drawdown plan.
If you are currently taking an income this means your money may not last as long as you previously expected. We know everyone has different circumstances at the moment. However, it may make sense, if you can, to consider reducing the amount you’re withdrawing to give your plan the chance to last longer.
You can use this Retirement Income Planner to give you an idea of how any changes to your income will affect how long your money might last.
We would recommend you speak to your financial adviser, if you have questions about your investment or if you’re considering changing anything. If you don’t have an adviser visit pru.co.uk/find-an-adviser/ to find one.
Depending on where your plan is invested (stock markets, property, bonds, for example) you might have seen a reduction in your fund value.
The uncertainty surrounding our economy has led to significant falls in stock markets, which can impact the value of pensions and investments linked to these markets.
The extent of any drop will depend on how your fund is invested. We’ve seen reports of falls of up to 30% or more in stock markets. However, if your money is spread across a number of different investment types (for example if you’re invested in PruFund or our With-Profits fund), you might be more protected from the full extent of this.
With any investment, there is always the chance they can go down, as well as up, in value. And there’s no certainty that you’ll get back the amount you put in.
If you’re worried or thinking of making changes to your investment, we recommend you speak to a financial adviser. If you don’t already have an adviser, go to pru.co.uk/find-an-adviser where you’ll be able to find an independent adviser local to you.
The uncertainty surrounding our economy has led to significant falls in the stock market, which can impact the value of endowments linked to these markets.
With any investment, there is always the chance they can go down as well as up in value. And, there’s no certainty that you’ll get back the amount you put in.
If this policy is your only means of paying off your mortgage, we would recommend that as a first step you contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible to let them know that your endowment policy may mature with a lower value than expected.
We understand you may be worried, we recommend you speak to a financial adviser. If you don’t already have an adviser, go to pru.co.uk/find-an-adviser where you’ll be able to find an adviser local to you.
If you’d like to view the value of your pensions and investments with us, with most plans you can do so by logging in to our online services. Values are normally updated every working day.
You can easily view your updated plan value, plan details, view documents and use our online chat to send a message.
If you’re not already registered, you can do so at online services
If you are thinking about your options in these uncertain times it is very important to speak to your financial adviser, if you have one. If you have a Retirement Account with us, your adviser will be able to do a wide range of things for you online. This is likely to be quicker and easier than calling us directly during this very busy time. And more importantly your adviser will be helping you make the right decision for your money. Your adviser is able to do the following things on our online system:
Switch your funds
Change how often and the amount you contribute to your pension/investment
Stop any payments
Take money out on your behalf
Change your details
Depending on your product, you might be able to switch the funds your money is currently invested in.
It’s important you think about your long-term needs and circumstances. Before you decide you’d like to switch your investment, we recommend you speak to a financial adviser who’ll be able to explain all of your options to you.
If you don’t already have an adviser, go to pru.co.uk/find-an-adviser/ where you’ll be able to find an adviser local to you.
For more information on switching please refer to your Key Features Document you would have received when you started your plan.
The With-Profits Fund aims to smooth some of the extreme highs and lows of short-term investment performance to provide a more stable return.
We achieve this by holding back some of the investment returns in good years with the aim of using this to support bonus rates* in the years when investment returns are lower.
This offers some protection against bad market conditions. However, bear in mind that smoothing will not stop the value of your plan reducing if investment returns have been low.
You also benefit from a fund which invests in a broad range of investment types. This means you don’t have all your eggs in one basket and may not suffer from the full impact of stock market falls
If you’d like more information on our With-Profits Funds, please go to pru.co.uk/investments/investment-fund-range/with-profits/
*Annual/Regular and Final Bonuses are the way you receive your share of the profits of the Fund. Different types of plan receive different bonus rates. Note that bonus rates aren’t guaranteed
You can find more detailed, technical information about how we manage our Funds in our Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM) document, which is available on our website: pru.co.uk/ppfm . You will also find customer friendly versions particular to your plan type.
The PruFund range of funds aim to grow your money over the medium to long term (5 to 10 years or more), while protecting you from some of the short-term ups and downs of direct stockmarket investments by using an established smoothing process.
Like most stockmarket-based investments, the value of the underlying funds changes daily, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing. We aim to reduce the impact of these movements over the short term by using a smoothing process.
This means that while you won’t benefit from the full upside of any potential stockmarket rises you won’t suffer from the full effects of any downfalls either.
You also benefit from a fund which invests in a broad range of investment types. This means you don’t have all your eggs in one basket and may not suffer from the full impact of stock market falls.
If you’d like more information on our PruFund Funds, please go to pru.co.uk/investments/investment-fund-range/pru-fund
You can find more detailed, technical information about how we manage our Funds in our Principles and Practices of Financial Management (PPFM) document, which is available on our website: pru.co.uk/ppfm - You will also find customer friendly versions particular to your plan type.
We want to reassure you that we are managing your savings in our usual expert way and that we are continuing to make annuity payments as normal. There is no need to worry or take any action.
We appreciate your patience during these extraordinary times.
We’re following Government advice and mostly working from home to look after our people so they can continue to give you the best possible service.
Our priority is to ensure we provide a telephony service to our more vulnerable customers and those most needing urgent help.
This may mean, if you try to call us, you’ll experience longer wait times. Rather than call us, you may prefer to use our online services during this time. If you’re not already registered it’s simple to register - Online Services. Once registered you can quickly see your plan information and value.
Our mail might be impacted, and we will do all we can to minimise any impact on you. We will still be working with Royal Mail and our distribution partners to make sure all mail continues in and out of Prudential, though there might be delays.
Our Online Services
During these times you might prefer to use our Online Services. You can use these to check the value of your policy and get other information about your plan.
It’s important to get financial advice
It’s more important than ever to get financial advice. If you’re worried, or thinking of making changes to your pensions or investments, we recommend you speak to your financial adviser.
Otherwise you can get help from:
Prudential Financial Planning
We have a team of advisers across the UK. You can talk to us by video call, giving you a flexible, safe and convienient way to meet whenever you want. Or if you'd prefer, we can simply chat over the phone - whatever suits you best.
We offer a restricted advice service.
For independent advice you can visit Unbiased who can help you find an adviser in your local area. Many advisers will be able to meet you through a video meeting or a call, during these times.