As the coronavirus situation develops, our priority is to look after our pension scheme members while keeping our people safe.
As part of this commitment, we’ve equipped our call centre staff to continue serving you remotely. To help us serve our most vulnerable customers first, we would encourage you to get in touch with us online by logging into your account, or contacting us by email.
To help with any concerns you may have about your pensions or investments, we’ve created a range of materials to help you understand any impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have had on these. You’ll find details on how to access this information below.
Keeping calm when stock markets fluctuate
Aviva's Head of Savings and Retirement, Alistair McQueen, offers advice on managing investments in times of market volatility.
Investment volatility and the impact on your pension
Economic activity can unsettle stock markets. Aviva explores the short and long-term effects the world's markets can have on the value of money held in your workplace pension.
It’s always important to be aware of how your pension is working for you, especially in times of market uncertainty.
Like any investment, the value of your pension will rise and fall as a result of each day’s trading,
including economic and political developments across the world. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get back the amount that’s been invested.
One common theme is that no one likes uncertainty, especially investors.
But uncertainty has always been a feature of investments. Throughout history, large scale events have caused drastic market behaviour.
You may remember the stock market crash in 1987…
…the after-effects of September 11 2001…
Or the Financial Crisis in 2008.
But if you take a look at the stock market over the long term, you’ll see that it resembles something more similar to a mountain range than a downward curve, as the world’s markets have fallen and then recovered.
Whenever a major event occurs, we know how easy it can be to get caught up in the media attention.
But it’s worth remembering not to base any long-term savings decisions on short-term events.
Your pension has been designed for decades of investment ups and downs, not just for the events of the moment.
Historically, many patient investors have been rewarded by long-term stock market returns, despite occasional periods of volatility. Please be aware that past performance is not a guide to future performance.
If you choose to take action to protect your money during a stock market crash, Then one thing you can be sure of is that you’re likely to suffer a loss in the value of your investments and might miss out on any increases in the future should markets recover.
If you continue to contribute a regular fixed amount into your pension, this may help smooth out the fluctuations in your pension pot’s value - as well as helping you to save effectively towards your retirement.
This is because when you make a contribution, you buy units in a fund. The lower the unit price for the fund, the more units you’ll get for your money.
If and when the unit price of the fund rises, fewer units will be purchased, but the value of the units you already own will go up. So, while the value of your pension may go down in the short term, by continuing to contribute to your pension, you could end up with more when the value of your units goes back up.
As an Aviva pension customer, it’s likely that your money will be invested in a number of different types of assets – and not entirely in assets which are traded on the stock market. This is done to reduce your exposure to the ups and downs in markets, which may occur.
And if you’re invested in one of our default investments programmes, your savings will gradually be moved into lower risk assets as you get closer to your selected retirement age.
This means that sudden ups and downs in the stock markets will have a lesser overall effect on the size of your pension pot at a stage when there’s not so much time to regain any losses.
So if you’re thinking about making a change to your pension based on what’s happening in the markets at the moment, take your time and consider your options.
There’s a wide range of information available on aviva.co.uk and the government’s pensionadvisoryservice.org.uk, which may help put your mind at ease.
It may also be worth talking to a financial adviser who will be able to look at your individual situation and help you decide what’s right for you.
If you don’t have a financial adviser, you can find one at www.unbiased.co.uk.
Watch our video guidance
Alistair McQueen, Aviva’s Head of Savings and Retirement, provides some helpful pensions tips and things you might want to consider in a series of short videos.
Should I be concerned about my investments?
Uncertainty can cause volatility in investment markets. This is to be expected. And it can result in higher than normal movements in the values of investments – down and up.
Can I change my investments?
You might want to review the funds that your money is invested in and the options available to you if you wanted to make any changes.
Log in now to take a look at your workplace pension
If you’re unsure which pension portal applies to you, please contact your employer.
It’s important to seek financial advice when making decisions about your pension or investment, so please speak to a financial adviser before making any changes.
Coronavirus and our other policies
If you have another type of policy with us, or you’re interested in taking one out, find out what you need to know in the current situation.