Which funds can you invest in?

Aviva's Stakeholder Pension offers you a wide variety of pension funds in which to invest your pension payments. You'll need to choose a fund or funds that reflect your attitude to risk and return and you can switch between funds to accommodate any changes in your personal circumstances.

You can choose your funds - or let us help you

With a Stakeholder Pension, you can either select the fund(s) that you want to invest in yourself or, if you prefer not to choose your own fund(s) we will invest your money in the stakeholder mixed investments lifestyle approach.

Taking the latter option will mean that all payments will be invested in the Mixed Investment (40-85% Shares) Fund - which in turn invests in a mix of assets. Then five years before retirement we will gradually move your investment into the Aviva Long Gilt Fund and the Aviva Deposit Fund on a monthly basis. These switches are made automatically and may not be made at a time that would give you the best return on your investment. New payments will continue to be invested in the Mixed Investment (40-85% shares) Fund and once units are purchased they will also be switched monthly. Full details are provided in our stakeholder mixed investments lifestyle approach (PDF 91KB) leaflet. At your chosen retirement date, 75% of your pension fund will be invested in the Long Gilt Fund and 25% will be invested in the Deposit Fund.

In certain circumstances we may need to delay payments, transfers and switching funds as outlined in your plan terms and conditions. This could be as a result of adverse market conditions or where it would lead to the unfair treatment of other investors. The delay may be up to one month for most funds or up to six months if the fund you're invested in cannot be easily converted to cash. This includes: a property fund or a fund that's fully or partly invested in the form of land or buildings. After such a delay the unit price used will be the price applicable at the end of the deferred period.

Bear in mind that the value of a pension fund can go down as well as up and may be worth less than the amount paid in. The level of risk/return depends on the fund(s) you're invested in - the higher the potential for growth, the greater the risk.

The risks associated with different investments

Risk is one of the most important factors when it comes to investing your money for the future. The key is to find the right balance between the amount of risk you're willing to take and the potential return you're likely to get over your investment period.

If you have a long time before you retire, you might be prepared to take a bigger risk, but as you get closer to retirement you might want to limit the amount of risk you take. With the help of your financial adviser, careful investment planning can help you to manage your risk/return effectively.

So what is meant by risk? Most funds carry the risk that their value could drop below the original value you invest at. This risk can be measured by the ‘volatility' of the fund, or the amount of ‘ups and downs' in its value. Typically, the more the value of an investment fund fluctuates, the higher the potential may be for gains or losses - often referred to as its risk/return. Understanding your attitude to risk/return is important.

If you're not sure you know the level of risk/return you're comfortable with, our fund selector will help you work out your own risk/return profile and identify which types of funds might be suitable for you.

Your choice of pension investment funds

Our Fund Centre gives you all the information you need about our funds. From daily prices and performance to details about charges.

What's the next step?

The first step is to talk it through with a financial adviser to make sure it's the right pension plan for you. If you don't have an adviser, you can find one in your area at unbiased.co.uk.

If you and your adviser agree that an Aviva Stakeholder Pension is right for you, your adviser will provide you with all the information you'll need to apply. This will include:

  • A key features document, which explains the aims and risks of the plan and answers some frequently asked questions.
  • A personal illustration, which gives you an estimate of what your investment in the pension plan may be worth at your chosen retirement age.
  • An application form, which should take just a few minutes to complete.

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