Risks Associated with Pensions and Investments

Pension Risk

Each investor is responsible for making all of the investment decisions in relation to his or her pension. These decisions may not be correct. As a result, there is a risk that the pension may be under funded by the investor and/or the value may be insufficient at retirement so that the investor’s long-term retirement needs may not be met. It is important that each investor seeks independent professional advice prior to making any decisions which have tax, legal or other financial implications.

 

Bomb Out Risk

One of the major potential dangers to an ARF is what is known as Bomb out risk: there are various descriptions of Bomb out risk but the most prevalent description is that an investor who takes regular withdrawals and/or imputed distributions over the life of their potentially run the risk that your income needs may no longer be met by the value of your ARF.  This product is not suitable for regular large income withdrawals which can deplete the fund.

 

No Assurance of Investment Return

The value of the investment may go down as well as up. Investors may lose some or all of the money invested. There is no guarantee that the ARF will meet its objectives of long-term capital appreciation or the level of income required. Unit values may fall as well as rise. There is no guaranteed investment return.

 

Market Risk

Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance. The ARF may be invested in particular securities, such as stocks or bonds, which can fall in value at any time due to the value in global stock markets.

 

Currency Risk

The ARF may have exposure either directly or indirectly to non Euro currencies. Currency movements may impact negatively on the overall performance of the pension product.

 

Credit Risk

Investments may be adversely affected if any of the institutions with which money is deposited suffer insolvency or other financial difficulties (default).

 

Liquidity Risks

The ARF may be invested in securities which cannot be easily sold in the market at a fair value and therefore cash may not be available to the investor when needed.


Inflation Risk

ARF’s are a long term investment and the effect of inflation can erode any ‘real’ investment returns over time.

 

Counterparty Risk

Losses may occur if an organisation with which the fund transacts becomes insolvent or fails to meet its obligations. This risk may be reduced by obtaining assets as collateral from these organisations. These losses will be passed on to the investor.

 

Investment Management Risk

The ARF and/ or any underlying investments in funds can be subject to investment management risk, whereby there is a risk that there will be a financial loss due to the investment manager making the wrong investment decisions. The investment manager may choose the wrong asset allocation or specific stock selection or overall investment strategy.

 

Tax Risks 

Tax laws and regulations are constantly changing, and they may be changed with retrospective effect which may have a negative impact on pensions or underlying investments. No assurance can be given regarding the actual level of taxation that may be imposed upon pension schemes or underlying investments. Any tax information that may be provided for Irish resident clients is based on our current understanding of the tax legislation in Ireland and the Revenue interpretation thereof. It is provided by way of general guidance only and is neither exhaustive nor definitive and is subject to change without notice.

Financial Planning Standards Board

Certified Financial Planner