Investments

Once you have decided on your contribution level, you need to be happy that your contributions are being invested in the way you want them to be. Your contributions are used to buy units in investment funds. The number of units in your account increases each time a contribution is added. However, the value of your account will also be determined on how your contributions have been invested.

There are four Tiers of funds available for you to invest in. You can find more information on each Tier by using the menu above.

You can mix your investment options across any combination of the Tiers – you just need to ensure that your total allocation equals 100%. Click on the links above to find out more.

The default investment using your contributions is the Target Date Fund for your 65th birthday.  The Trustees believe that Target Date Funds are suitable for the majority of members and, most specifically, those colleagues who don't want to be actively involved in day to day investment decisions. However, you are able to select your own funds if you wish.

It's important that you review your investment choices on a regular basis to make sure that they are still appropriate for when you intend to retire and the returns you hope to achieve. In particular, you
may find the following information helpful:

  • The Trustee has chosen Target Date Funds (TDFs) as the default investment fund, as they believe these are suitable for most members. Currently, over 97% of members in the Scheme are invested in TDFs. The TDFs move you through a different mix of investments reducing risk as you get closer to retirement, so that you don’t have to worry about whether you are taking the right amount of risk for your stage in life. By default, members are invested in a TDF targeting retirement at age 65, but you can change the target age for retirement if you wish.
  • The DC Chairman’s Statement and the Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) set out the Trustee’s policies in relation to the default investment fund offered by the Scheme, their objectives in providing the full range of funds available and the charges that apply. You can read or download the SIP and the DC Chairman’s Statement from our website.
  • The Trustee recognises that you may wish to invest in alternative funds. A wide range of funds are also available through the Scheme’s investment platform, which are arranged into four tiers.
  • For each fund that is available on the investment platform, a fund fact sheet is available which explains the objectives for the fund, the recent performance and the charges that apply. You can view the fund fact sheets on our website by selecting the investment tier that you wish to view from the menu above.
  • The International Securities Identification Numbers (ISINs) for each fund that is available on Tiers 2, 3 and 4 of the investment platform are also available on the website where they are listed alongside each fund together with a link to the fact sheet. The ISINs for the underlying funds which the Target Date Funds are invested in are also provided on the website.

Charges

The Occupational Pensions Schemes (Charges and Governance) Regulations 2015 cover a range of measures aimed at controlling the level and range of charges in ‘qualifying schemes’. In particular, charges applicable to the default option, i.e. the Target Date Funds in the case of the ABF Scheme, are subject to a cap of 0.75% annually of funds under management (or an equivalent combination charge) from April 2015. The charges on the Target Date Funds are considerably lower than this cap. Some of the other funds have charges in excess of 0.75%, these funds are not subject to the above-mentioned Regulations and you should check the the specific fund information for more details.