A pension is a long-term investment. Its value can go down as well as up and could be worth less than was paid in. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. Your own circumstances and where you live in the UK will also have an impact on tax treatment.

These options are specifically designed for employees in workplace pensions who want a low level of involvement in their investments. Whether you’re new to Standard Life or already have a workplace pension, we can help you understand them.

Introducing Active Plus and Passive Plus

These bring together a mix of investments in one solution, and can be managed for you right up to retirement – so they're a quick and simple way of investing.

All you have to do is decide how much risk you’re comfortable taking and select the appropriate one, from risk levels 1 (lower risk) to 5 (higher risk). If your retirement goals and circumstances change, you can always move between options to take more or less risk to suit your needs or move to a different investment option.

The investment specialists who manage the funds will decide what they should be invested in and when, and make sure they don’t take any more or less risk than you said you were comfortable with. They’ll also aim to deliver the best possible returns for the level of risk you’ve chosen.

You can choose individual Active Plus or Passive Plus funds. Or, if you want an option that gets your pension savings ready for how you plan to take them, you might want to consider a lifestyle profile.

What are lifestyle profiles?

Lifestyle profiles aim to grow the value of your pension savings, as well as getting them ready for how you plan to take them - whether that’s setting up a guaranteed income for life (an annuity), taking a lump sum, taking a flexible income (drawdown), or a combination of these. They do this by moving your money into a different mix of investments as you get closer to your retirement date.

More about lifestyle profiles

We recommend that you regularly review your investments to make sure they remain appropriate for you and that they’re on track to meet your goals.

How to pick which Active Plus or Passive Plus option is right for you

It’s easy to work out which option could best suit your goals and how you feel about risk.

1. Decide how much risk you’re comfortable taking

You choose the risk level most appropriate for you:

Lower riskLower to medium riskMedium riskMedium to higher riskHigher risk1234554321

If you’re not sure which risk level is right for you, our risk questionnaire might help. And remember, you can move to another risk level or investment option at any time if your goals or attitude to risk change.

2. If you choose a lifestyle profile, decide how you're going to take your money in the future

  • Universal lifestyle profiles - if you want flexibility in how you'll take your money in the future
  • Annuity lifestyle profiles - if you want to take your full tax-free lump sum and set up an annuity with the rest
  • Lump Sum lifestyle profiles - if you want to take all your money as a lump sum or a series of lump sums
  • Active Retirement lifestyle profiles - if you want to take a flexible income through the Standard Life Active Retirement investment option

The investment specialists managing the funds will then manage the option you've chosen.

Global, diversified investments

The team managing funds in the Active Plus and Passive Plus options use different types of investments from across the globe.

Differences between Active Plus and Passive Plus

For the Active Plus options, they do this through a range of actively managed Standard Life funds. The Active Plus range also invests a portion in passive funds. For the Passive Plus options, they do this through a range of passive (also known as index-tracking) funds from Vanguard Asset Management.

Introducing Passive Core

This is a simple option that’s only available as a lifestyle profile – the Passive Core Universal Strategic Lifestyle Profile.

The investment specialists managing the funds in this profile will invest in different types of investments from across the globe. This is through a range of passive funds from Vanguard Asset Management, Aberdeen Standard Investments and BlackRock.

As you get closer to your retirement date, your pension savings will be gradually moved into funds designed for if you want to take a flexible income (drawdown) or to give you the flexibility to take your money as you want.

Find out more about Passive Core (101KB)

How ESG is integrated

Most of the funds used in the Active Plus range are actively managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments. They integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) into their investment management processes. They have the information and flexibility to take account of ESG analysis and factors when they select investments for their portfolios.

The Passive Plus and Passive Core ranges invest predominantly in passive funds. This means the investment managers don't actively integrate ESG into their investment processes. However, as a steward of an investment they can influence positive change using engagement and voting rights.

More about responsible investment

Review your workplace pension

Visit your workplace pension website or view your plan documents for more information about where you're invested and what options are available. You can also review your investment options online.

Log in

Investment tools

Using our investment tools you can check how much investment risk you’re willing to take and explore our full range of funds.

Check funds

If you want a wider choice of investment options to choose from, take a look at our full range of funds.

Use the fund filter tool today

Assess your attitude to risk

It’s really important to understand how much investment risk you’re willing to take. Our tool can help you there.

Try the attitude to risk tool
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More on investments

We can help you learn more about your different investment options and tell you everything you need to know about investing for your future.