Choosing your investment options

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As a Flexi Pension member, you can choose which investment options your savings are invested in, and which options your pension payments are withdrawn from.


Your ‘drawdown’ strategy describes the method, or order, your pension payments are drawn from your chosen investment option. You can choose this when you start your Flexi Pension, or adjust as required.

Your Flexi Pension investment options

Each of our investment options fall under either the Pre-Mixed or Sector categories, which are designed to suit different types of investors.

Our options give you the opportunity to invest in companies with more sustainable investment practices (including consideration of environmental and social issues) compared to their peers.

Read more about responsible investing.

Pre-Mixed

Our Pre-Mixed category consists of a range of diversified investment options with individual return objectives.

Some are low-risk with lower return objectives and some are higher-risk with higher return objectives.

Who this option is suited to

These options may suit you if you're after a low-maintenance investment choice that we manage on your behalf. Just choose the option or mix of options that best match your risk profile, personal circumstances and financial goals—and we’ll take care of the rest for you.

Sector

Our Sector options are a range of mainly single asset class options designed to be combined with other Sector options, or combined with Pre-Mixed options to create your own unique investment mix.

Who this option is suited to

You may be interested in our Sector options if you’re an experienced investor who prefers to take a more hands-on approach, or if you’d like to invest part of your super in a specific asset class.

If you choose your own mix of investment options, the percentage allocated to each of your chosen options may change in line with investment performance. If this occurs, you can choose to ‘rebalance’ your portfolio to ensure it still reflects your investment strategy.

If you’re interested in building your own investment portfolio from our Sector options, UniSuper Advice can help you develop a strategy that suits your needs.

If you don’t make an investment selection, you’ll be invested in the default Balanced investment option.

How to choose an investment that suits you

Risk

It’s important to understand the different ‘risk and return’ characteristics of the asset classes included in our investment options before you make a decision.

Put simply, risk and return generally go hand in hand. In other words, the higher the potential return of an investment option, the greater the risk of a negative return and potential for volatility.

Conversely, the lower the potential return, the lower the risk of negative returns and volatility.

There’s also the risk that the returns achieved by ‘low-risk, low-return’ investment options may not keep up with inflation, which could affect how long your retirement savings last.

Your risk profile

Are you comfortable if the value of your investments go up and down over the short term, in return for potentially higher returns over time? Or, would you prefer typically more stable but potentially lower returns over time?

Your answers to these questions and other considerations such as your investment timeframe and experience with investing will help you understand your risk profile—i.e. how comfortable you are with risk and how much risk you’re prepared to take to achieve your desired returns.

For example, it may be tempting to choose options that have the potential to achieve higher returns, but this may not be right for you if you’re uncomfortable with daily market fluctuations.

Our experienced advisers will assess your preferred risk level and investment timeframe, as well as other factors which may be important to you, such as social, environmental and ethical considerations.

Changing your investment

Once you’ve chosen your investment options, it’s not just a matter of ‘set and forget’. We recommend you review your investment options at least annually, or when your circumstances change.

This will help ensure your investment strategy is still right for you.

While you’re reviewing your investment options, you may wish to consider your ‘drawdown strategy’, i.e. the order of investment options your pension payments are withdrawn.

Reviewing your investment options to suit you

Here are some things to consider when assessing at your investment portfolio:

  • Have your living expenses changed or are there any major upcoming expenses on the horizon?
    If you plan to increase your pension payments or make any lump-sum withdrawals, you may want to ensure that you have enough funds in low-risk options such as Cash. This may help protect your funds against short-term market fluctuations.
  • Are you receiving additional income, e.g. the Age Pension or casual employment?
    If you’re receiving income from sources other than your Flexi Pension, you may decide to reduce your pension payments. If your funds are invested in low-risk options like Cash, this could impact how much you allocate to these options.
  • If you are invested in multiple investment options, has the percentage of your balance invested in each option changed due to market performance?
    You may find your investment portfolio is now over-exposed to one or more types of asset classes. This may mean that your portfolio needs to be ‘rebalanced’ so that it remains invested in line with your risk profile. Learn more about rebalancing your portfolio.
  • Has your attitude to risk changed?
    If there’s been a shift in the level of investment risk you’re comfortable with, you may want to review your investment options. Read more about understanding your risk profile.
  • Have there been any major changes in your health?
    Your health situation may affect how long you expect your pension to remain invested. Read more about pension longevity.
  • Do you want to consider any investments you have outside super as part of your investment strategy?
    It may be worth considering any non-super investments you have when reviewing your investment options to help ensure your overall investment portfolio isn’t overexposed to any one particular asset class. Read more about asset classes.

Example

Robyn is a cautious investor and wants to mainly invest in defensive assets. She decides to allocate 80% of her balance to the Cash Option, and 20% to Australian Shares. Over a two-year period, Australian shares perform well, and the mix of Robyn’s portfolio shifts to 70% Cash and 30% Australian shares. This means more of her portfolio is now invested in high-risk growth assets.

To bring her portfolio back to the original mix of 80% Cash and 20% Australian Shares, Robyn needs to make adjustments to how her pension is invested. This process is called ‘rebalancing’.

Rebalancing your portfolio

The percentage of your account balance invested across your chosen options can change over time because of the way the options perform, and/or because of the order from which your regular payments are drawn from your account.

Rebalancing is the process of adjusting your portfolio to realign the weighting of each asset allocation to your original selection.

How often should you rebalance your portfolio?

There is no ‘correct’ time to rebalance your portfolio, though it may be helpful to review your portfolio regularly to decide if it needs rebalancing.

We recommend you review your portfolio at least once a year to check that:

  • the percentage invested in each of your chosen options continues to reflect your intentions, and
  • your account is sufficiently diversified so that any poorly performing investments may be offset by better performing investments.

You can check this at any time on MemberOnline.

You can rebalance your investment portfolio by switching your investments options.

Get advice

Your pension could be invested for several decades throughout your retirement, so making the best choice for your circumstances is important.

Before making an investment choice, it can be helpful to speak with a qualified financial adviser who can look at your personal circumstances and recommend an appropriate investment strategy for you.

If you’d like to speak to UniSuper Advice call 1800 UADVICE (1800 823 842).

You can also learn more about investments yourself by using our Investment choice tool or by reading the latest investment news and commentary.