Managed pension

A significant number of you will probably have come across the term managed pension at some point in your lives. And, you may (or may not!) have wondered what it actually means? The name managed pension describes your investments and how your pension is overseen, so in a sense how it is actually ‘managed.’ The term managed pension is most often associated with a type of investment fund that your payments go into and which grows your money.

Of course, all pensions are managed in some way or another and this includes handling your payments, sending you regular updates, and making sure your pension complies with the many legislative and regulatory requirements.

What type of schemes include a managed pension?

Money purchase and defined contribution schemes are typical managed pensions. These are where your pension depends on how much you (and your employer, if relevant) pay in and how well it grows over time. Workplace pensions such as the group personal pension are the best known schemes that link to managed pension funds, but company pensions and stakeholder pensions can be too.

What is a managed pension fund?

A managed pension fund groups together the money you and other savers pay into your pensions. Your provider will then invest that money in a few different types of investment. The fund managers make all the decisions so that you don’t have to, and that approach suits most people. By spreading your money out across these different investments your provider ensures that you are not relying solely on just one type of investment to grow your pension pot.

The mix of investments can include stocks and shares, property, bonds (effectively governments or companies borrow your money and in return they pay you interest) and cash deposits. A managed fund can vary the amount of each investment it includes, and you then simply choose how much risk you want to take, so typically a low, medium or high risk.

What are default managed pensions?

Choices, choices, so what do you do? Recognising the huge selection of funds that are available to savers these days, most employers select a managed pension as their recommended choice for the scheme members. It’s known as a ‘default fund’ and it’s a very popular choice if you can’t decide where to invest your pension contributions. The default managed fund is generally medium, or average risk and that outlook suits most people.

What’s the future for managed pensions?

They continue to be a popular choice for pension savers as they offer a good spread of investments and are value for money when it comes to charges. In recent years millions of new savers have started pensions because of auto-enrolment and there are now many more choices of how to take your pension at retirement, so change is in the air.

The providers are seeking to change the managed pension funds into something that is able to more easily change the amount and type of investments used more readily when markets are doing well, or in tougher economic times. They’re called diversified growth funds and are essentially still a managed pension but with a slightly different approach and name.

Share this

Thinking about your pension options?

We can help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to your pensions. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The details provided in this article are for general information only and are in no way deemed to be financial advice. All of the material is correct as of the publication date, but could be out-of-date by the time you read the article.
0800 009 3388
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm


Pension Access is a trading name of Harbour Rock Capital Limited which is registered in England & Wales as a Limited Company, No. 10290349. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, No. 754580. Registered Offices: Affinity House, Beaufort Court, Sir Thomas Longley Road, Rochester, Kent, ME2 4FD. Telephone: 0800 009 3388. Email:
© 2024 Pension Access. All right reserved.
What's in your info pack?
Your FREE information pack contains all the information you need to make an informed decision on wheter or not taking tax free cash from your pension is right for you.
Get your Free Info Pack
Complete the form and we'll send you an information pack in the post
Note: We are unable to advise on the state pension or any pension you are already taking an income from.

    Get your free info pack

    Where should we send your info pack?

    Please complete your details below and we'll send your information pack in the next available post

    Find Your address

    Type in your postcode or start typing your address then select from the drop-down list

    Your address

    We'll post your information pack here

    Keeping in touch

    We'll send you updates by email or text message. One of our specialists may call, just in case you have any questions about your pension. We’re big believers in never bombarding people with calls.

    Safety PadlockYour information is safe with us. Our calls are recorded for regulatory, legal and training requirements. Please see our privacy notice for information on our data practices here


    Hands using calculator to calculate home equity amount