Investment guide - your savings 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 Your M&S Pension Saving Plan, the contributions you and M&S made were invested in a Legal & General Target Date Fund.
This is called the default investment option and was chosen by the trustees and your employer. Unless you decide to put your savings in a different fund or funds, this is where your contributions will continue to go.
The Legal & General Target Date Funds allow you to match your investment strategy to a range of 'target dates'. This will normally include the date at which you currently plan to retire. Each Target Date Fund adjusts the way your savings are invested as you move closer to and then into retirement, giving you the flexibility to decide when and how you want to use your savings pot.
The idea is that you save in a single fund along with other people who have a similar target retirement date in mind. Each Target Date Fund invests in a wide range of assets such as company shares, government and corporate bonds, property, infrastructure and other investments. This means that you aren’t reliant on the performance of any one type of asset.
To find out more about this fund, please see your Guide to the Target Date Funds or The Target Date Funds video.
The Target Date Funds 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.
We’re proud that our Target Date Funds are invested responsibly. This means we consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in our investment process.
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 risk will help you to decide if you want to make your own investment choices or stay invested in the Target Date Fund, where your investment will be managed by us based on your retirement date.
Making your own investment choices
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to making your own investment decisions. Investment guide 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 can also invest in a lifestyle profile. We explain what this means in Your Investment options.
The trustees will sometimes review the funds available to you and may decide to add or remove funds.
All the funds are managed by professional fund managers:
- If you choose a fund that’s managed by an external fund manager, your contributions will still be invested in a Legal & General fund.
- Legal & General will invest the money that you’ve invested with them in a fund that’s managed by Threadneedle (this is known as the ‘authorised fund’).
Please remember that neither the trustees, your employer or Legal & General are providing financial advice. If you want to change how your savings are invested, you may want to speak to a qualified financial adviser. Remember advisers will usually charge for their services. To find an adviser in your local area go to unbiased.co.uk.
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.
As well as caring about your financial future we believe that we have a responsibility to consider the impact that the companies that we invest in have on the world around us. The money we manage for you and for millions of other savers means that we can influence some of the world’s largest companies. If a company isn’t changing the way they work, we’ll work with them to help them make change.
You can find out more about how the money from your pension is invested to make a difference on our Responsible investing page.
Find out more about investing by using the links below.
More in this section
Some of the things you should be thinking about when making your own choices.
You can find out more about the different types of investments available to you.
Find out how we invest your money responsibly and consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in our investment process.
Our planning tools can help you manage your pension savings.