Coronavirus - does it affect my pension?

From the Trustee of the: 
United Utilities Pension Scheme (UUPS)

United Utilities PLC Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme (UUESPS)

As the impact of the coronavirus is felt across the UK, we want to reassure members that looking after their pension is our top priority.

The global spread of the coronavirus has been an important contributor to the recent volatility in equity (company shares) markets. Markets tend to react to uncertainty, so as new cases arise and the situation evolves, it’s likely that global markets will be impacted further - potentially for a prolonged period of time. 

How does it affect my Defined Contribution (DC)/DC top up/Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) pot?

While the Trustee Board and its advisors continue to monitor the situation and to keep an eye on markets and investments, it is worth bearing in mind that pensions are a long-term savings plan.

It’s important to consider these changes in the context of your long-term investment objectives. For anyone who is a long way from retirement fluctuations in fund price should be expected and we would expect over the long term that the markets would recover from this current turbulence, although there are no guarantees.

For those of you who are close to retirement and planning to access your DC/AVC pot we would recommend you review your current plans and contact the scheme administrator, Aegon, or your financial adviser. If you don’t have a financial adviser you can find one at 

You can view the current value of your DC pot by logging on to

We are working with Aegon to ensure your pension is being managed as expected. Please click here to view Aegon’s question and answers regarding coronavirus (PDF 775 KB opens in a new window).

ESPS members who have queries regarding their AVCs should contact the Scheme administrators, Railpen.

How does it affect my Defined Benefit (DB) pension?

As UUPS and UUESPS are a defined benefit scheme, the DB pension being built up or the value of regular pensions currently being paid out to pensioners is not determined by the ups and downs of the stock market. This means that any turbulence to financial markets caused by the current situation will not affect the benefits to be paid out or the regular pensions that are currently being paid out to members.

Both schemes are currently well funded with a low risk investment strategy which are protected against changes in inflation and interest rates so the schemes are in a good position to deal with any extreme turbulence in the markets.  The Trustees are working with their advisers to continue to monitor the situation.

Whilst the pension administrators have been planning for the current scenario and are committed to continuing to serve our members, we would ask that members only contact them if they have urgent requests. This is to ensure that they can prioritise their efforts to those members most in need.

This update is provided for information only and does not constitute financial advice. If you need advice, you should contact a regulated financial adviser.

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