UK Investors have access to over 9,000 pension funds. So, deciding on which fund will maximise retirement savings is a hefty task.

The fact is less than 7% of these funds are consistently top quartile performing within their sectors, and many people are losing out on extra retirement income by investing in pension funds that are underperforming.

With so many options, it is vital that you select the right fund. In this report, we showcase four pension funds that have excelled since their inception; with each delivering top returns in comparison to competing funds, helping you to chose where to put your hard earned cash.


Not many people realise this, but within Aviva are dozens of funds. If you're invested in a default Aviva fund, it may be worth checking if there are better performing Aviva funds to move to.

What do they invest in?

Aviva pension funds range from investments in the cash/money market, to corporate bonds, ethical investments, government bonds and so on. Each fund also has a risk/ volatility rating with 7 being the highest, and 1 being the lowest.

Aviva Pension F&C Responsible UK Equity Growth S6

Aviva’s BMO Responsible UK Equity Growth Fund outperformed PN UK Companies since 2017. Even if this fund does not meet your expectations, Aviva has hundreds of funds spread out through a wide array of investment vehicles.

Benefits of an Aviva Pension:

  • You can manage your pension online
  • Option for flexible retirement
  • You can leave your pension with a loved one
  • You can deposit money based on your budget
  • Tax relief for your Personal Pension payments

Our Final Verdict

To achieve long-term capital growth and increasing income with the emphasis on growth in approved UK companies. Within Stewardship's ethical constraints the Fund is managed as any other - the managers utilize a blended assessment of the market and economy with thorough company analysis. The ethical constraints largely prevent the fund from investing in less ‘ESG-friendly’ sectors but has a reasonably large number of companies to choose.

NOW: Pensions

How it works:

NOW: Pensions utilises a multi-asset diversified strategy to deliver positive expected returns in diverse economic scenarios. The fund is different from traditional approaches to multi-asset investments in that their approach highlights the risk characteristics of each asset class.

Traditional asset allocation approaches frequently have a high proportion of total risk allocated to equities, while NOW believes that risk allocation approach is helpful to maximising the benefits of diversification. The investment strategy offers members exposure to global equity, fixed income, commodities, and credit markets. The core strategy is centred on the principle that, over the long term, diversification of assets provides higher risk-adjusted returns. This approach provides a simple form of protection. Seeing as economies are cyclical, investments in diverse asset classes with varied return characteristics behave in different ways, i.e., some go down, whereas others go up in each economic cycle.

Our Final Verdict

In 2019, NOW: Pensions DG Fund delivered an investment return of 15.7%. Worded differently, if you had invested £1,000 at the beginning of 2019, you would have £1,157 by the end of 2019 (excluding monthly charges). Moreover, over the last three years, the DG Fund has brought 20.4% in cumulative returns, despite immense market volatility.

Baillie Gifford Global Alpha Pension

Launched in December 2011, the Baillie Gifford Global Alpha Pension fund is one of 750+ funds in the pension Global Equities sector with at least 5-years performance.

What do they invest in?

The Fund invests in an actively managed portfolio of stocks from around the world with the intention of delivering significantly higher total returns than the MSCI AC World Index before fees. They focus on companies which have previously offered above average profit growth. Thus, the investment managers utilize a long-term (five year) perspective. The Fund’s three dedicated investment managers draw on a combination of their own investment ideas and those of our various investment teams to produce a portfolio that typically holds 70–120 stocks.

Our Final Verdict

What makes this fund stand out? The Global Alpha fund holds over £3.3 billion and has consistently delivered strong performance for its investors since inception. Additionally, the Global Alpha fund has delivered 5-year growth of 114.8%, which places it among the top 4% in its sector.

NEST Sharia Fund

Nest Sharia Fund Objective: The Sharia fund seeks to provide individuals with a fund that has an investment approach based on Islamic law. Investors should expect a long-term volatility average of 22 per cent.

What do they invest in?

NEST Sharia invests in household names such as Amazon, Microsoft and Googles parent - Alphabet. This might give you some idea as to why they have performed quite so well giving a 5 year return of over 98%

Our Final Verdict

Moreover, this is a fund that is intended to increase an investors pot in real terms over the course of their savings career and their performance looks good.

Now that you have read this article, let us know down below in the comments what we can do to improve your financial literacy!