Coronavirus and your retirement savings
The coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. The Trustees of the Bank of America Ireland Pension Scheme are continuing to monitor the impact of the pandemic on Scheme members.
Global investment markets remain volatile as the world adapts to the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. This volatility is reflected in the funds that make up the investment options within the Scheme.
In the midst of the uncertainty, there has been a rise in pension scams. Scammers are getting ever more sophisticated, so we all need to be on our guard.
Read on for more information.
As the world continues to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, global investment markets remain volatile. This volatility is reflected in the funds that make up the investment options within the Scheme.
The Trustees of the Bank of America Ireland Pension Scheme are monitoring the impact of the pandemic on the Scheme’s investment options, with support from their advisers. They also review these options on an ongoing basis to ensure that they continue to meet the Scheme's long-term objectives.
For you, the effects of ongoing market volatility will depend on how you have chosen to invest and how far away you are from your target retirement date:
- If you have chosen to manage your own investments through the Freestyle fund range, then the effect of ongoing market volatility will vary depending on your investment choices.
- Members with a long period to retirement are likely to be amongst the most exposed to market volatility, as they generally invest predominantly in equities. However, retirement investors have a very long horizon, so need to adopt a long-term perspective. Over long periods of time, equities have provided strong returns, in spite of periods of poor performance.
- For members with around 20-30 years to retirement, it is similar to that above; care is needed to remain focussed on the fact that retirement is also still many years away. However, with fewer years to retirement, it is important that you regularly review your contributions.
- Finally, for those closer to retirement, members invested in one of the Lifestyle approaches will have been gradually moving to less risky assets over recent years and their retirement savings will have been less impacted by ongoing market volatility.
Getting advice in uncertain times
Whether you are a long way from retirement, or planning to retire in the near future, it is important you carefully consider how the ongoing effects of the pandemic might influence your plans. There are different risks to consider when investing for the long-term or taking your savings from the Scheme. We recommend you seek financial advice before making any changes or decisions about your investments and benefits with the Scheme.
You can find details of how to contact a Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA) in your local area here. If you choose to engage a QFA, this will normally be at your own expense.
Market shocks happen from time to time, and our strategies are performing in line with expectations. This does not mean that you cannot make changes to your investment choices at any time. Should you wish to do so, we recommend you seek financial advice.
As always, we encourage you to review your pension savings and consider what, if any actions you could take with regards to your contributions to better prepare for retirement.
You can review and update your contributions at any time on MyBenefitChoices. If you are on long-term absence, please contact the MyBenefitChoices helpline on 00800 4772 4772/+44 1244 825 444 (option 2) or email email@example.com
You can manage your investment choices on the Invesco pensions website.
- If you are logging on from inside your employer’s network, via SSO
- If you are logging on from outside of your employer’s network, go here
Scams – don’t be caught off guard
Criminals operating pension and other financial scams are becoming more and more sophisticated, so it is vital that you are vigilant and take steps to protect your money. Scams are on the rise at the moment and many victims are being contacted specifically regarding their bank accounts and login details.
Often scammers try and take advantage of vulnerable individuals and look to make people feel uncertain or confused so they can pressure them into making quick decisions or providing personal information. Many of us may be feeling more vulnerable and unsettled than usual now, so we would like to encourage all our members to remain especially alert to attempted scams.
If you’re concerned about a potential scam, or you’ve been contacted about your savings, you should contact your local Garda station.