COVID-19 Pandemic: Investment update

17 December 2020

Atlas Cash Fund

Back in March, the Bank of England cut interest rates to an historic low of 0.1%, with the Bank’s Governor, Andrew Bailey, commenting that ‘we are in an absolutely unprecedented situation’. This reduction has an impact on the Atlas Cash Fund which is used in our Default investment strategies (the investment strategies which members are invested in unless they choose their own investments).

These strategies are designed so that as a member draws closer to their expected retirement age, an increasing percentage of their pension pot is invested in cash. At their expected retirement age, 25% will be invested in the Atlas Cash Fund. This is because, historically, most members have chosen to take their tax-free cash at that time.

We want to let you know that after charges, returns on the Atlas Cash Fund are expected to be negative by a fraction of a percentage, and are likely to remain so until and unless interest rates begin to rise again. Unfortunately, the solution cannot be resolved simply by selecting an alternative manager – all UK cash (or cash-like) funds that offer similar levels of security and predictability are affected in exactly the same way. We are keeping this situation under review and will provide updates as appropriate.

Atlas Property Fund

Also in March, due to the widespread inability for property fund managers to obtain reliable valuations, it became no longer possible to invest members’ Atlas contributions in the Atlas Property Fund. We redirected all contributions made to the Atlas Property Fund to the Atlas Cash Fund. Members whose investments were moved were able to choose alternative funds.

We have recently been advised that the two underlying funds that are currently used in the Atlas Property Fund (managed by Threadneedle and Legal & General) have now re-opened and are available to receive contributions effective from 1 November.

We wanted to let our members know that you can now direct contributions back into the Atlas Property Fund if you wish to do so. But make sure you think about getting financial advice before changing where your pension account is invested.

To make changes to your investments simply visit the Atlas member portal by clicking on the "Log in" button at the top of this page. Or you can contact the Atlas Administration Team on 0345 121 3389 or by email at