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Your guide to investing

When you put money into your pension, we invest it 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 University of Birmingham, the contributions you and University of Birmingham 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 default investment option –

✓ Is deemed an appropriate choice for most members
✗ Doesn’t take into account your personal circumstances or future plans.

You have other investment options available but be aware of risk and reward before making your choice.

Find a fund to suit you

Before you decide if you want to choose a different investment fund to your default you should understand more about investment funds.

Asset classes

Investment funds invest in a range of different asset classes. Company shares, commercial property, bonds and cash.

Shares and property prices can be very volatile. This means they can go down or up in value sharply. Sometimes, by large amounts compared to other less volatile investments. Property prices may take a long time to recover. In return, they both offer the potential for growth over the long term

Bonds are sensitive to interest rate movements and inflation. The value of your investment is likely to fall if interest rates rise and could increase if interest rates fall. The have moderate to high volatility.

Cash is widely regarded as the least volatile investment asset. Although it is less likely to go up and down in value, investment returns are likely to be low. If interest earned fails to keep pace with the rate of inflation, the value of your money will fall in real terms, although any fall in value is likely to be limited.

Risk versus Reward

Your preferred level of risk can have a big impact on your savings. Be aware you may not get back as much as you put in.

Before making an investment selection, you should be comfortable with the amount of risk you wish to take. You should consider how long you will be investing for and how you feel about the value going down and up. As well as how much the value changes and how often.

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.

Find out more about investing by using the links below:

Other ways to invest your pension

You can find out more about the different types of investments available to you.

Learn more about investing

Some of the things you should be thinking about when making your own choices.

Responsible investing

Find out how our investment management business incorporates a responsible investing approach, considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in their investment process.

Planning tools

Our planning tools can help you manage your pension savings.