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Where you choose to invest your money is up to you. If you do not choose your own fund or funds (you can select up to ten different funds for contributions to be invested in on Orbit), contributions will automatically be invested in the ‘default’ option.

  • The default option, since 1 January 2014 is the 10 Year Lifestyle Investment Approach. The aim of this approach is grow your pension fund by way of investment returns during the period up to ten years before the target retirement date (age 65) and within ten years of the target retirement date (the consolidation phase). Click here to find out more.

  • If you joined before 1 January 2014, the default was the 6 Year Lifestyle Investment Approach, more details can be found here. The main differences, when compared to the current default investment approach detailed above is that there is less diversification of investments in the growth phase and the switch to lower risk assets as you approach retirement is over a shorter period. You may therefore wish to consider if the 1 Year Lifestyle option is more suitable for you.

    You can choose where your money is invested from a range of funds based on your requirements and how you feel about taking risks with your money. You can choose to invest all your contributions in one fund or you can choose to spread your money across a range of funds. You can do this by logging on to Orbit and accessing the ‘Fund Centre’ for more details

    Broadly speaking there are 3 levels of risk you can take:

    • Low risk

    • Medium risk

    • High risk

    Low risk funds have a smaller chance of loss; however the growth of your money will normally be less. Low risk funds tend to be cash or cash-like investments. Low risk does not mean that there is no risk.

    Medium risk:  if you like the idea of taking a small amount of risk, but don’t want to invest in high risk funds, you may want to consider choosing a medium or balanced fund. The money invested in those funds is invested in a combination of high and low risk investments although the overall level of risk in balanced funds is greater than the level of risk in low risk funds.

    High risk funds can be volatile, particularly over the short term, with prices rising and falling. The size of the potential increases and falls in value are greater; however, they have the potential for greater returns as the risk being taken is higher.

    Remember that pension savings should be seen as long-term investments. Also remember that the past or current performance of any fund is not always an indication of how that fund may perform in the future.

    If you are considering choosing your own investment funds you are recommended to seek independent financial advice. If you do not have an independent financial adviser you can find information on how to find one at

    For a glossary of investment terms, please click here.