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Investment guide - your pension pot

When you put money into your pension, we invest it in company shares (among other places) with the aim of helping your savings grow.

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to investing your money into a pension. And it can all seem a bit daunting if you’re new to investing or haven’t had a pension plan before.

What happens to the money I pay in?

When you first joined the Macmillan Cancer Support WorkSave Pension Plan, the contributions you and Macmillan Cancer made were invested in a fund or a lifestyle profile chosen for you.

This is called the default investment option. Unless you decide to put your savings in a different fund or funds, this is where your contributions will continue to go.

Funds fund or a lifestyle profile are a good starting point, but they may not suit your personal needs. Even if you’re choosing your own investments, think about whether your pension savings are invested in the best way for you.

To help you with this, there’s lots of information on this website, where we also provide links to other guides and resources. Below, we explain the importance of understanding investment risk, how to make your own investment choices and responsible investing.

When making investment decisions about our standard defaults we consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

Balancing risk and reward

All investment involves a degree of risk. It’s important to understand, and be comfortable with these risks you're taking before making any investment choices.

  • Investments that can offer higher rewards often come with higher risks, which means there’s a greater chance of losing your money.
  • With lower-risk investments there’s less chance of losing your money, but the rewards will usually be less.
  • Past performance is not a guide to the future. The value of an investment is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up.

Understanding how you feel about investment risk

The way you feel about investment risk will depend on your situation and your beliefs. Your attitude to risk can change as you get older, so it’s important to regularly review how your pension savings are invested. 

Our guide to risk and reward will help you understand how you feel about investment risk and how you might identify with one of our five customer risk profiles. The guide explains the different types of risks involved with investing, such as inflation risk.

There’s a lot to think about when choosing your own investments, such as:

  • How much you understand about investing and the different investment types available
  • How much money you’ll need in retirement
  • How often you’ll think about and change your investments
  • When will you be making your investments?
  • Do you plan to make just one investment, or lots of investments over time?

Understanding how you feel about risk will help you to decide whether you’re comfortable making your own investment choices. 

Making your own investment choices

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to making your own investment decisions. Your guide to investing is a great place to start to understand the basics of investing – things like what funds and lifestyle profile are, how they work, and the type of assets they invest in. Your guide to how your funds are managed explains the key principles we follow when managing our funds and what happens when an unexpected event occurs.

You may be able to pay for financial advice directly from your pension savings in this plan. For information on how to do this, please see making your own investment choices.

We offer you a way of paying your adviser directly from your pension pot, called a facilitated adviser charge. The Facilitated adviser charge guide explains how this works.

Responsible investing

Our goal is to help people save for their retirement, creating brighter financial futures. We also want to help create the kind of world people want to retire in. Find out how considering environmental, social and governance issues in the investment process, and engaging with the companies we invest in, helps towards this goal. You can find out more on our Responsible investing page.

Find out more about investing by using the links below.

Making your own investment choices >
Your investment options >
Responsible investing >
Planning tools >