What is Glidepath

Glidepath is the lifestyling tool used in our straightforward pension.

We use the Virgin Money Pension Growth Fund 3 and the Virgin Money Pension Defensive Fund to manage your pension savings on your behalf.

No matter what age you are or what fund your money’s in, we make sure it’s invested in lots of different types of investments, including UK and overseas shares, property, corporate and government bonds, from around the world. This helps you ‘spread’ your risk – and means you’ll never have all your eggs in one basket.

Our investment approach means that your money grows up to and throughout your retirement, it is designed to give you flexibility when making your retirement plans.

How does it work?

We manage your investments based on your age so until you are 50, all your money is invested in the Virgin Money Pension Growth Fund 3.

At 51, some of your money is gradually moved into our lower-risk Virgin Money Pension Defensive Fund. This will happen automatically every year till you turn 65. And even then, we’ll keep some money in our new Growth Fund 3 so your pension has the potential to grow to support you in retirement.

Check out how Glidepath works using the handy table below - it shows how your money will be invested at different ages.

FundUp to 505152535455565758596061626364From 65
Growth Fund 3100%97%94%91%88%85%81%77%73%69%65%60%55%50%43%36%
Defensive Fund0%3%6%9%12%15%19%23%27%31%35%40%45%50%57%64%

What does this mean for you?

Well, it depends on how you set up your pension with us and where you are on your investment journey

What happens when you retire?

Thanks to changes in pension regulations, these days you’ve more choices about how and when you access your pension.

As well as being able to take a 25% tax-free lump sum, you can:

  • Take it in smaller amounts over time (25% of each withdrawal is tax-free)
  • Turn it into a regular income through ‘income drawdown’ or take a cash lump sum
  • Turn it into a regular income by buying an annuity that pays a guaranteed income for life

We’ve designed our new Glidepath to support income drawdown. This means it manages your investments in line with your age and lifestage, rather than the date you think you might retire. It gives you more flexibility on when and how you retire.

At the moment our pension enables you to take your savings as a single lump payment. If you're retiring soon, this could mean that you may need to transfer your pension elsewhere if we don't have all these choices available by that time. We're working hard on making the other choices available in the future.

You can find out more information about retirement options at unbiased.co.uk

Remember, tax treatment depends on individual circumstances. Tax law and practice can change in the future and may affect your pension.

Where do we invest your money?

Our two new funds, Virgin Money Pension Growth Fund 3 and the Virgin Money Pension Defensive Fund, are ‘multi-asset funds’. That means the funds will invest in different types of investments across the world. These include UK and overseas shares, property, corporate and government bonds.

You can see how these funds are invested below. And, if there are any terms you find confusing, please check out our jargon buster.

To find out more, take a look at the fund pages.

Pension Growth Fund 3 

Pension Defensive Fund 

Glidepath is smooth, simple and flexible

When you get closer to retirement, you want convenience and choice more than anything. That's exactly what Glidepath gives you – here's how.


People who want to keep some or all of their pension pot invested and use income drawdown during retirement text
Designed forPeople who want to keep some or all of their pension pot invested and use income drawdown during retirement
Less suitable forPeople who want to take all of their money on a fixed day – as cash or to buy an annuity
Invests inVirgin Money Pension Growth Fund 3 and Virgin Money Pension Defensive Fund
Which areMulti-asset funds that invest globally in a mix of different investments, with the mix regularly reviewed on your behalf
Where is it invested?Your money will be invested across the UK and overseas, including emerging markets such as China and India. By investing globally, your money is less exposed to the fortunes of any one country / region, which helps manage risk
Asset typesShares (developed and emerging markets), global property shares, government bonds (UK gilts, and overseas), corporate bonds, high yield bonds and cash
We move your money to prepare for your retirementDuring the 15 years from age 51 to age 65
How we invest your moneyInitially all your money is invested in the Virgin Money Pension Growth Fund 3.

Once a year, from age 51 until age 65 we automatically move some of it to the Virgin Money Pension Defensive Fund.

From 65 onwards, you’ll have 36% of your money invested in the Growth Fund 3 and 64% invested in the Defensive Fund.
Our charges are0.85% ongoing annual charge for the Virgin Money Growth Fund 3 and 0.70% ongoing annual charge for the Virgin Money Defensive Fund
How our charges are paidBy adjustment to the unit price of the funds – we do not collect any charges directly from you
Can I switch this on and offYes – you can switch Glidepath on or off at any time.

If you switch it on we’ll check your investments and, if appropriate, change them on the last working day of that month.

If you switch it off your funds will stay as they are, and you’ll need to tell us if you want to make changes to them.

Check you’re on the right track

We believe it’s always important to carefully consider your future financial security.

Whatever your retirement plans are, check out the Money Advice Service pensions calculator to help you find out if you're on the right track for retirement.