Plan savings can go up and down in line with returns on investments. Aside from this, the Trustee also looks at even more severe possible causes of loss – for example if any of the fund providers become insolvent. We are satisfied that if this were to happen, your investments would have the same level of protection in line with industry standards.

The funds we offer for you to invest in are currently provided through an insurance policy with Legal & General Assurance (Pensions Management) Limited (L&G). We don't invest in the assets directly, but L&G arranges this for us. In practice, most of the investment funds provided through L&G are managed by another company in the L&G group (called Legal & General Investment Management Limited). L&G also offer funds run by other fund managers and other third parties outside the L&G group and we current offer you the opportunity to invest in one of those (the HSBC fund).

This is a common way of investing under UK pension schemes and helps us give you easy access to a range of investment funds.

The Trustee's policy with L&G is currently covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS is a compensation fund of last resort for customers of financial services firms. In the unlikely event that L&G is unable to meet its financial obligations the Trustee would be able to make a claim to the FSCS or the industry Regulator to seek to find another provider to take on the policy. The claim to the FSCS would be for the value of the policy with L&G, although the FSCS rules do not set out how they would value the policy in these circumstances (i.e. the FSCS might decide the value of the policy is not the same as the value of the assets in the investment funds under the policy). In addition L&G has put in place financial arrangements within its own group of companies which have the aim of minimising the risk that the funds you are invested in might be used to meet other liabilities if L&G becomes insolvent.

The third party fund currently offered under the Plan is provided through a unitised fund which is legally “ring fenced” – that is, kept separate – from the assets and liabilities of their investment manager.

Also, the underlying investment funds are subject to strict financial regulation. We take all these factors into account when deciding how to provide your investment choices, and we keep this under regular review.

In brief – as with many other pension funds and investments – there is no absolute guarantee that funds will never be affected by fraud or by the insolvency of a fund provider. However the underlying investment funds and the arrangements to access them are structured to minimise the risk of this happening. We are satisfied our current arrangements are in line with the industry norm.