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Aegon launches auto-enrol fund range with BlackRock

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Aegon has launched an auto-enrolment investment range based around a series of lifestyle funds which will be managed by BlackRock.

The funds are designed to be suitable as scheme default funds, and include three risk-managed funds from Aegon called the Managed Intelligently Workplace Savings funds. The medium-risk version of this fund will be used as the auto-enrolment default fund on Aegon’s platform Aegon Retirement Choices.

The range also includes the Scottish Equitable BlackRock Aquila 50/50 Bond and Equity Index Lifestyle fund, the Scottish Equitable BlackRock Aquila 75/25 Equity and Bond Index Lifestyle fund, the Universal Lifestyle Collection fund, and the Scottish Equitable BlackRock Aquila 50/50 Global Equity Index Lifestyle fund.

The range has been developed using consumer research carried out by Aegon and guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions, Nest, and the National Association of Pension Funds. The research found most employees are likely to remain invested in the scheme default fund and are daunted by the prospect of investing and of losing money if markets fall.

Aegon UK head of investment marketing Mark Pearson says: “We believe our new auto-enrolment range presents straightforward solutions to meet the pension needs of UK employees, employers and advisers.”

BlackRock head of UK retail Tony Stenning says: “By offering diversified asset exposure and a more stable investment experience, we hope to encourage those saving for retirement to continue to build up their pension pot and feel greater confidence in investing.”

Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid says: “Fixed annuities are becoming less and less attractive. You have to question whether the old adage of automatically de-risking people as they approach retirement is appropriate in the current climate.”

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