Friends Life Online Stakeholder Pension Fund guide

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1 Friends Life Online Stakeholder Pension Fund guide This guide describes the funds available for investment under our Friends Life Online Stakeholder Pension and sets out their aims. Which funds can I choose from? We offer a wide range of investment funds. You can invest in up to 10 funds at any one time. We offer three lifestyle investment programmes which switch your investments gradually to the FL Pre Retirement Fixed Interest Fund and the FL Cash Fund in the last years before your investment programme retirement date (IPRD). For more details about the lifestyle investment programmes please see page 8. Investment risk When choosing your funds, you should carefully consider how much risk you are prepared to take. Risk is a difficult concept to quantify and means different things to different people. We generally assume that risk means how much of the value of your investment might fluctuate from day to day. How much you might get back from your investment and the degree of risk you are prepared to take are linked and your fund selection should reflect this. The table on the following page will help you understand the different levels of risk you can take when investing your money. Only you will know how much risk you are prepared to take but you should remember that even if you choose to take no investment risk at all, your money could buy you less in the long term because of the rise in the cost of living.

2 Approaches to investment risk Friends Life calculates its risk ratings using historical performance data, based upon the methods set by European Union rules. We also carry out further research using information from the fund s investment manager(s). We review each fund s risk rating annually and these may change over time. The timing of your investment decisions is very important and you should consult a financial adviser. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Our risk ratings go from 1 to 7, with 1 being the lowest and 7 the highest. As a point of reference, a fund with a risk rating of 4 (medium ) would typically experience the you would expect from a fund invested in a range of different investments (for example shares, property and bonds) without any bias to a particular investment type. Remember that all investment funds carry some element of risk but this varies from fund to fund. Risk rating 7 Highest 6 High Risk rating description the highest of all the funds Friends Life has rated. This means that these funds have the highest potential for substantial changes in value compared with other Friends Life funds. high compared with other funds Friends Life has rated. This means that these funds have a high potential for substantial changes in value compared with other Friends Life funds. 5 Medium to high medium to high compared with other funds Friends Life has rated. This means that these funds have a medium to high potential for substantial changes in value compared with other Friends Life funds. 4 Medium medium compared with other funds Friends Life has rated. This means that these funds have a medium potential for substantial changes in value compared with other Friends Life funds. 3 Low to medium 2 Low 1 Lowest low to medium compared with other funds Friends Life has rated. This means that these funds have a low to medium potential for substantial changes in value compared with other Friends Life funds. low compared with other funds Friends Life has rated. This means that these funds have a low potential for substantial changes in value compared with other Friends Life funds. the lowest of all the funds Friends Life has rated. This means that these funds have the lowest potential for substantial changes in value compared with other Friends Life funds. Please note: These investment risk ratings are based on our interpretation of investment risk and are only meant as a guide. These levels of investment risk are not guaranteed and may change in the future. The colours in this table may be different to those used online; however, the ratings and approach to investment risk remain the same. 2

3 Fund risk warnings There are risks associated with investing in funds, or types of funds. In this document we show which risk warning or warnings apply to each fund. These are all explained below. Please note that not all of these warnings apply to each fund and there is no direct relationship between the number of fund risk warnings and the investment risk rating for each fund shown on the previous page. Risk warning code A B C D E F G Risk warning description Investment is not guaranteed: The value of an investment is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up. You could get back less than you have paid in. Price: At times, the way a fund s price is calculated may need to change to ensure that those moving into and out of the fund and existing unitholders/shareholders are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged by any large cash flows. Suspend trading: Fund managers have the ability, in certain circumstances, to suspend trading in their funds for as long as necessary. When this occurs we will need to delay the cashing in or switching of units in the relevant fund. You may not be able to access your money during this period. The circumstances in which we may delay a switch, withdrawal or transfer can include but are not limited to the following: If a large number of customers want to take money out of the same fund at the same time. If there are practical problems selling the assets in which a fund is invested. If the fund (or part of it) is managed by an external company, they may insist on a delay. Stock lending: Where a fund is involved in the temporary transfer of securities, there is a risk that the borrower may not be able to return the security to its owner. This may have a negative effect on the performance of the fund. Derivatives: Most funds can invest in derivatives for the purpose of efficient portfolio management or risk reduction. For funds that also use derivatives for investment purposes, we apply an additional risk warning due to the possible increase in the risk and of the fund. Currency risk: Where a fund invests in share classes or securities priced in currencies other than the fund s base currency, changes in exchange rates can contribute to the value of the investment going up or down. Emerging markets: Where a fund invests in emerging markets, it is likely to be more volatile than one that invests in developed markets. These markets may not be as strictly regulated and securities may be harder to buy and sell than those in more developed markets. These markets may also be politically unstable, which can result in the fund carrying more risk. Smaller companies: Where a fund invests in the shares of smaller companies, these shares can be more volatile and may be harder to buy and sell than larger company shares, which can result in the fund carrying more risk. Fixed interest: Where a fund invests in fixed interest securities, such as corporate or government bonds, changes in interest rates can contribute to the value of the investment going up or down. If interest rates rise, the value is likely to fall. Bonds with a lower credit rating are known as sub investment grade or junk bonds. These carry an increased risk that the issuer of the bond will be unable to continue the interest payments or return the capital at maturity. Specialist: Where a fund invests only in a specific or limited range of industry sectors, it may carry more risk than funds that invest across a broader range or variety of sectors. These funds can be more volatile and carry higher risk due to their lack of diversification. Derivatives: Where a fund uses derivatives for investment purposes, there may be an increase in the risk and of the fund. Some derivative investments also expose investors to counterparty or default risk where another party is unable to meets its obligations and pay what is due. This could result in the loss of the value of the derivative itself. 3 3

4 Risk warning code H I J K L M N O Risk warning description Cash/Money market funds: These are not cash deposit accounts but invest in money market instruments and short-term bonds and can fall in value. In a low interest rate environment, the charges applied to a cash fund may be greater than its return, so you could get back less than you have paid in. Physical property: Where a fund directly invests in physical property, these properties are not easy to buy or sell. In exceptional circumstances, we may need to delay the cashing in or switching of units in the fund and you may not be able to access your money during this period. The value of properties held is generally a matter of the valuer s opinion rather than fact. Index-linked: Where a fund invests in index-linked bonds, changes in inflation rates can contribute to the value of the investment going up or down. If inflation falls, the value is likely to fall. High cash levels: Due to the way some funds are managed there may be periods when they have large cash holdings. This can be a deliberate asset allocation decision or while suitable investment opportunities are researched and selected. A fund s growth potential may be less during this period. Reinsured funds: Where a fund invests in an underlying fund operated by another insurance company through a reinsurance agreement, if the other insurance company were to become insolvent, you could lose some or all of the value of your investment in this fund. Ethical: Where a fund invests only in sectors and securities that meet its agreed ethical criteria, it may carry more risk than funds which are free from these restrictions. The ethical companies invested in can be involved in new and innovative technologies or new markets and can therefore have a higher risk profile than organisations involved in more mainstream activities. Alternative investments: Where a fund invests in alternatives, it may carry more risk, as these instruments are generally priced less regularly and may be harder to buy and sell than investments in more conventional asset classes. Alternatives include commodities, hedge funds, private equity, real estate investment trusts (REITs), venture capital and currencies. Convertible bonds: Where a fund invests in convertible bonds, it will experience the risks associated with holding bonds until conversion, at which point it will experience the risks associated with holding equities. To compensate for having additional value through the option to convert from a bond to an equity, a convertible bond typically has a coupon rate lower than that of a similar, non convertible bond. 4

5 Fund charges The funds you can choose from To help you get a better understanding of the funds available to choose from, we have outlined some high-level details below. Please take note of the following points before reading the table: The risk band is an indication of how volatile the fund is likely to be, and how much the value of the fund may vary from day to day. We currently take an annual management charge (AMC) of 0.80% out of the fund value over the lifetime of your plan. The AMC may be changed in accordance with the plan s terms and conditions. Please note there may be circumstances when the external fund managers decide to increase the level of annual management charge for new and existing customers. If this happens, we ll offer you a switch to another fund with an annual management charge at or below the previous level. We may even close the fund concerned. Because our plan allows you to switch your funds at no extra cost, you will have flexibility to try and ensure your fund choice meets your requirements. The additional expenses charge is shown as a fixed percentage, but this will normally vary from day to day. The percentage shown is to give you an indication of the additional expenses that may be incurred by a particular fund, but you should be aware that on any given day it may be slightly more or less than this percentage. Funds Fund Fund type AMC Additional expenses 6 High FL European Active 0.80% 0.00% 5 Medium to high FL Global Equity Active 0.80% 0.00% FL North American Active 0.80% 0.00% FL Stewardship Active 0.80% 0.00% FL UK Equity Active 0.80% 0.00% 4 Medium FL Managed Active 0.80% 0.00% FL Property Active 0.80% 0.00% FL Stewardship Managed Active 0.80% 0.00% 3 Low to medium FL Fixed Interest Active 0.80% 0.00% FL Pre-Retirement Fixed Interest Active 0.80% 0.00% 1 Lowest FL Cash Active 0.80% 0.00% 5

6 Funds FL European High The fund s objective is to provide capital growth. The manager seeks to achieve this by investing mainly in a diversified spread of equities from any European stock market except the UK. Although the bulk of investment will take place in the major markets, the manager believes that the smaller markets also offer interesting opportunities from time to time and may be represented in the fund. While the manager will invest mainly in equities, there may be periods when European fixed interest securities are an attractive investment for part of the fund. Risk warnings A, B, C, D, E FL Global Equity Medium to high The fund aims to achieve capital growth, with some income generation, by investing mainly in listed global equities. The fund may also invest in other equities, warrants, convertibles, derivatives, money market instruments and short-term bonds. The fund may invest directly or indirectly. Risk warnings A, B, C, D, E, O FL North American Medium to high The fund s objective is to provide capital growth. The manager seeks to achieve this by investing mainly in a well balanced spread of equities in the US and Canada. While the fund will invest mainly in equities, it may also invest in other investments such as convertible stocks and derivatives and traded options to hedge positions or to gain exposure to companies to manage the portfolio efficiently. The fund does not normally hedge its currency exposure. Risk warnings A, B, D, O FL UK Equity Medium to high The fund aims to achieve capital growth by mainly investing in UK listed equities. The fund may also invest in other equities, warrants, convertibles, derivatives, money market instruments and short-term bonds. Risk warnings A, B, D, O FL Managed Medium The fund aims to provide exposure to a diversified portfolio of assets in order to generate capital growth and income. The fund will mainly be invested in equities and bonds. It may also invest in warrants, convertibles, money market instruments, short-term bonds, commodities, private equity, hedge funds, other alternative asset classes and direct property. The fund may invest directly or indirectly. Risk warnings A, B, C, D, E, I, J, N, O FL Property Medium The fund aims to generate capital growth and income by investing mainly in UK commercial property. The fund may also invest in UK listed property equities, including real estate investment trusts, shares issued by companies that own, develop or manage direct property and property index certificates. The fund may also invest in money market instruments, short-term bonds, derivatives and in other direct property funds. Risk warnings A, F, I, N FL Stewardship Medium to high The fund aims to provide exposure to an ethically screened portfolio of assets in order to produce capital growth. The fund will mainly be invested in UK equities. The ethical screening criteria of the fund will mean that its investments are more restricted than a non-ethical fund. The fund may also invest in other equities, warrants, convertibles, money market instruments and short-term bonds. Risk warnings A, B, D, F, M, O Risk warning codes (see pages 3 and 4) A Investment is not guaranteed; Price; Suspend trading; Stock lending; Derivatives B Currency risks C Emerging markets D Smaller companies E Fixed interest F Specialist G Derivatives H Cash/Money market funds I Physical property J Index linked K High cash levels L Reinsured funds M Ethical N Alternative investments O Convertible bonds 6 6

7 FL Stewardship Managed Medium The fund aims to provide exposure to a diversified portfolio of ethically screened assets in order to generate capital growth and income. The ethical screening criteria of the fund will mean that its investments are more restricted than a nonethical fund. The fund may invest in UK and international equities, warrants, bonds, convertibles, money market instruments and short-term bonds. The fund may invest directly or indirectly. Risk warnings A, B, C, D, E, F, M, N, O FL Fixed Interest Low to medium The fund aims to achieve long-term growth from a combination of income generation and capital growth. The fund invests mainly in UK Government securities and other Sterling denominated fixed interest and index-linked securities. Non-Sterling bonds may also be held with any foreign currency exposure typically hedged back to Sterling. The fund can also invest in money market instruments and short-term bonds. Risk warnings A, B, E, J, O FL Pre-retirement Low to medium Fixed Interest The fund aims to achieve long-term growth from a combination of income generation and capital growth. The fund invests mainly in UK Government and UK Government backed index-linked securities and Sterling denominated overseas government backed index-linked securities. The fund may also invest in other Sterling denominated fixed interest securities and non-sterling bonds with any foreign currency exposure typically hedged back to Sterling. The fund can also invest in money market instruments and short-term bonds. Risk warnings A, E, J, O FL Cash Lowest The fund aims to provide short-term liquidity by investing in money market instruments, bonds and cash. It may invest in short-term bonds issued or backed by the UK Government or supranational agencies as well as commercial paper, cash and near cash assets such as deposits and certificates of deposit. Risk warnings A, E, H Risk warning codes (see pages 3 and 4) A Investment is not guaranteed; Price; Suspend trading; Stock lending; Derivatives B Currency risks C Emerging markets D Smaller companies E Fixed interest F Specialist G Derivatives H Cash/Money market funds I Physical property J Index linked K High cash levels L Reinsured funds M Ethical N Alternative investments O Convertible bonds 7

8 Lifestyle investment programmes As you approach your retirement date it is important to start to protect the value of your pension plan from dramatic investment changes. The lifestyle investment programme is designed to help with this. It gradually moves a percentage of your pension plan and any future contributions from higher risk (or more volatile) funds into lower risk (or less volatile) funds during the run up to your retirement. There are three programmes to choose from: 10 Year 5 Year 3 Year The charts below show how each programme aims to move your money as you approach your IPRD. The movements are made on a monthly basis and are set at the percentages shown below. The proportions invested in each of these funds will vary slightly according to financial market movements and where future contributions are invested. All movements of funds into and within each programme are free of charge. You may have already selected one of the funds used in a lifestyle investment programme as a pre lifestyle investment programme fund. If this happens, your total holding in that fund will be used to calculate the movements of money into and within the programme. This approach means that we don t reduce your fund holdings in the pre lifestyle investment programme funds too quickly. You can change your IPRD which can be different from your selected retirement date. The IPRD coincides with your chosen birthday. If you continue to make contributions after your IPRD, these will be invested in the proportions shown at the IPRD on the charts below. As your investments are moved to different funds within the programme, your annual management charge (AMC) may change as well. You can choose a lifestyle investment programme either when you join the scheme or at any time while you are a member. You will be informed before the lifestyle investment programme starts so that you can change your decision if you wish. Please be aware there is no guarantee that this programme will benefit your retirement pot when you come to retire. 10 Year Programme Target % invested in fund IPRD Years to retirement Pre-life style investment programme funds FL Pre-Retirement Fixed Interest Fund FL Cash Fund 5 Year Programme 3 Year Programme Target % invested in fund IPRD Years to retirement Target % invested in fund IPRD Years to retirement 8

9 There are potential advantages and disadvantages to investing in an investment programme. The advantages of investment programmes are: The investment programme offers an alternative to changing your investment funds independently as you head towards retirement. During the period leading up to your retirement, your pension fund is moved from investments with a greater exposure to the stock market into more cautious investments. This helps reduce your exposure to risk from stock market fluctuations. Your investment programme can be amended if you choose to take your benefits earlier or later than planned. The disadvantages of investment programmes are: There is no guarantee that the investment programme will prove beneficial to your pension fund. The value of your investments, even in lower risk funds, can fall as well as rise and the value of your pension fund is not guaranteed. Taking your retirement benefits earlier or later than planned may have an impact on your investment programme, and may mean that it is no longer suitable for your individual circumstances. You can choose to leave the investment option at any time. 9

10 Friends Life provides a range of pensions, investments and insurance products and services. We have a heritage dating back over 200 years and now look after over 5 million customers worldwide. We focus on ways of helping people achieve greater long term financial security for themselves and their families. We re always looking for new solutions that are more effective, more relevant and more valuable for our customers. For our complete range of products and services visit Friends Life and Pensions Limited An incorporated company limited by shares and registered in England and Wales, number Registered office: Pixham End, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1QA. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Telephone calls may be recorded. Friends Life is a registered trade mark of the Friends Life group. MPEN11/X (44312)

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