Using Aviva’s Self Directed Investment Option (SDIO) As Part of Your Pension Portfolio
Stephen Rice
Stephen Rice

Stephen Rice is Investments and Pensions Proposition Lead with Aviva Life & Pensions and here provides some insight into the benefits of the Self Directed Investment Option (SDIO).

When it comes to pre and post retirement planning, investors have a diverse choice of assets from which to choose, issued by a range of investment managers and made available to individuals through a number of channels including life companies, pension trustees and in the case of Approved Retirement Funds, qualifying fund managers (QFMSs).

Whilst choice is important when building a portfolio for a retirement fund, the challenge is that to access a wide range of assets, individuals can often end up with multiple pension pots split across several managers and providers. Splitting benefits can lead to several issues, throughout the retirement saving period and as an individual moves closer to retirement. These can include:

  1. Difficulty in switching funds to either increase or decrease investment risk as you move through your pre and post retirement pensions lifecycle.
  2. Increased costs due to multiple smaller pots.
  3. Difficulty in keeping up to date with the valuation of all funds.

One of the most common requests regarding the investment of an individual’s pension fund, is to have access to a wider range of assets. The ideal scenario is to have them contained within one pre or post retirement vehicle. This way you can easily manage and understand the value of your fund and switch between assets so the investment is in line with your risk profile at different stages throughout your savings lifecycle.

The Benefits of the Self Directed Investment Option (SDIO)

At Aviva, SDIO is offered as a fund choice on a range of pre and post retirement contracts, which can currently be accessed through the Friends First product. By making SDIO a fund choice on a policy rather than a stand-alone product or “wrapper”, individuals can combine SDIO with multi asset funds or a property fund to build an even further diversified bespoke portfolio, all within one policy. Individuals can also use SDIO to manage their investment risk profile throughout the different stages of their pre and post retirement planning as transferring into and out of it, is a standard fund switch.

Aviva and Cantor Fitzgerald have a long term relationship, with Cantor Fitzgerald operating as fund administrator and stockbroking partner since the fund started in 2006.

Investment Choice

In addition to offering a diverse range of assets to cater for differing risk profiles, there are a number of partners which provide investment solutions for SDIO including structured products and property funds. These products or investment solutions are regularly updated and can include varying levels of capital protection for the lower risk investor.

Through our partnership with Cantor Fitzgerald our offering is further enhanced with a range of market traded instruments. These assets are aimed at building truly diverse portfolios tailored to specific requirements and attitudes to risk.

The Full Range of Assets Available


Types of Contract

Along with recognising that not all investors will want to use the same assets for their pension or buy the same investments, we also understand that investors will have different requirements on how their retirement portfolios are structured. For this reason, there are 3 main contracts on offer:

  • Execution only non trading, covers the range of structured products and property funds
  • Execution only trading – through Cantor Fitzgerald
  • Advisory trading – through Cantor Fitzgerald

The diversity of investment solutions, access points for pre and post retirement pension investors and contracts offered by SDIO allow you to future proof your investment needs throughout your full retirement savings life cycle.

To speak with a Portfolio Manager or Account Executive today, phone Cantor Fitzgerald dealing desk on 01 633 3633.

Warning: Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance. The value of your investment may go down as well as up.