Figuring out the best pension plan to go for can be a tricky business, and some people are even sceptical about the benefits of a pension itself. That being said, general opinion still regards pensions as the safest bet when saving up for the later years in life as long as you pick well. If you’re lucky enough to be on a final salary pension then you don’t need to worry about investment decisions, and you’ll have guaranteed benefits when you retired. The majority of us however, are in a different situation. Below is a brief guide to a few different things worth considering when trying to pick the right pension for you.
When you set up a pension you’ll be asked where you want your pension contributions to be invested. If you don’t know, or don’t feel capable of making a decision then your contributions will be put in a “default” fund by your pension provider. This isn’t the worse case scenario, but often this default fund won’t be the best performer, meaning your pension could grow more if invested elsewhere.
This is why a lot of people chose a fund themselves. A fund is a scheme which allows individual investors (so other people like you with a pension) to pool their assets. A fund manager will then take all the money and invest it in a number of shares, with the idea being the fund manager will know what to pick and make sure the value of your pension is boosted. You can pick as many funds as you like, but depending on your pension you might find the choice a bit limited. If you’re finding your pension isn’t performing well then you might want to consider switching to a newer pension or a self-invested pension scheme.
It’s not always easy knowing which fund to pick, but like anything it’s good to look at previous track records, reputation and the like. Try and get as informed as possible before you make your choices. It might be wise to speak to a financial advisor also.
The Stock Market
If you’re a while off retiring then you might want to invest your pension in the stock market. The best advice for investing in the stock market is to keep your funds diverse to spread risk. You also might want to choose funds based on things like what their company stands for and whether you agree with it.
As you approach retirement it’s best to reduce risk as much as possible, so it might be wise to move your pension out of shares and into lower-risk assets like bonds.
Comparing pension plans of UK pension companies doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might first seem. The key is to make sure you know the implications of any decisions you make before you settle on a certain scheme or certain funds.