Good Points: You can start saving a small monthly amount You can stop, start or change payments easily The value of your fund can be tracked easily on line Management charges are low and the pension meets stakeholder standards Clear, straightforward application paperwork Very good customer service via their call-centre
Bad Points: Only a choice of two funds - choice of FTSE All-Share Tracker and safer, but lower performing gilt/bond fund. Some tracker funds might have lower charges
In short: I have had a Virgin Personal Pension for almost 10 years now and have been very pleased with it. I like the fact you can stop or vary payments according to your changing financial circumstances, and the ability to check the value of your fund at anytime on line is a great bonus, when many other pension providers only send 6-monthly or yearly statements. The default fund is a "Tracker" which means it tries to replicate the performance of the FTSE All-Share Index. This in turn means lower charges than a "managed" fund where the fund manager has discretion as to which shares to buy and sell. Also, crucially, tracker funds historically have beaten around 80% of managed funds so performance over the longer term should be at the better end of the spectrum and you needn't worry about whether you'chosen the right fund or not. In summary, well worth considering.
Reviewed by: Mark Mellor