In short…

We started the year with around £37.2 billion in assets.

During the year:

We added:

  • £0.6 billion contributions from Barclays and members

We paid out:

  • £1.4 billion for members’ pensions and benefits


  • The value of our investments reduced by £9.1 billion

We ended our financial year with around £27.2 billion in assets.

The full investment picture

While we have seen a drop in asset values compared to 2021, this is not the full picture when it comes to measuring the UKRF’s investment performance because:

  • Our liabilities have moved in the same way. The overall aim of our investment strategy is to ensure the UKRF can pay pensions as and when they fall due (our liabilities). So, although asset values have fallen, this has been matched by a drop in liability values i.e. the expected cost of paying benefits now and in the future has also reduced. This means that in relative terms, the UKRF’s funding position (and the security of members’ benefits) remains strong. You can read more about the UKRF’s current funding position in our financial update, A lot can happen in three years.
  • Our investments have performed as expected. We have chosen to invest in assets that aim to move in the same way as the value of our liabilities. So, while a fall in asset values might seem concerning, the main thing to recognise is that our assets have performed as expected and, as a result of our low-risk investment approach and robust risk controls, we haven’t needed to change our strategy. The funding position, recognising the difference between our assets and liabilities, has remained strong.

Want to dig into the detail?

Income and expenditure   Total 2022 £m Defined Benefit (DB) £m Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m Total 2021 £m
Balance at the beginning of the Fund year Total 2022 £m 37,240 Defined Benefit (DB) £m 34,975 Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m 2,265 Total 2021 £m 36,798

Money added in

Employer contributions (including salary sacrifice contributions) Total 2022 £m 590 Defined Benefit (DB) £m 527 Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m 63 Total 2021 £m 999
Member contributions Total 2022 £m 2 Defined Benefit (DB) £m 1 Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m 1 Total 2021 £m 2
Individual transfers in Total 2022 £m Defined Benefit (DB) £m Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m Total 2021 £m 1
Net investment returns (including investment expenses) Total 2022 £m (9,175) Defined Benefit (DB) £m (8,801) Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m (374) Total 2021 £m 804

Money paid out

Benefits payable Total 2022 £m 887 Defined Benefit (DB) £m 868 Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m 19 Total 2021 £m 845
Payments to and on account of leavers Total 2022 £m 536 Defined Benefit (DB) £m 453 Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m 83 Total 2021 £m 499
Administration and provider costs Total 2022 £m 21 Defined Benefit (DB) £m 21 Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m Total 2021 £m 20
Balance at the end of the Fund year Total 2022 £m 27,213 Defined Benefit (DB) £m 25,360 Defined Contribution (DC) (including Afterwork) £m 1,853 Total 2021 £m 37,240

These numbers are from our full UKRF Annual Report 2022, which have been checked or ‘audited’ by KPMG LLP.

Net return on investment was -£9.1 billion

This is for the DB and DC investments we manage on behalf of members, including Afterwork members in the Credit Account. Although the current value of these assets has fallen, the DB pensions and Afterwork Credit Account benefits members receive have not changed.

More about our DB investments

How do we decide where to invest DB funds?

Our decisions are guided by our Statement of Investment Principles (SIP) which sets out our overall strategy and investment objectives, including a statement of the Trustee’s responsibilities, what we expect from our fund managers and which risks we need to manage. Our Responsible Investment Policy is also integral to our investment choices and reflects our commitment to look at all of the things that could influence a fund’s performance, including environmental, social and governance factors. You can read about this approach in our dedicated Responsible Investment section of the website.

With the support of our advisers, we then regularly review these decisions and monitor the performance of our assets and fund managers in the context of current market conditions. Close monitoring means we’re better able to recognise and anticipate risks earlier, and ensure that the robust management controls we’ve put in place are working as they should.

What happened to our DB investments in 2022?

We continued to monitor the Fund’s portfolio, making adjustments as needed, to ensure the UKRF’s investments were aligned with our long-term investment strategy.

Our investment strategy is designed to withstand periods of economic uncertainty but we still pay close attention to market fluctuations. Events in 2022 created a challenging environment for investors, with heightened levels of volatility due to the Ukraine war, spikes in energy prices, rises in inflation and the fall in the value of UK government bonds (known as gilts) requiring pension funds to hold a higher proportion of investments in easy to access assets such as cash.

The UKRF’s strong funding position, balanced portfolio and liquidity mean it is well positioned to withstand these external shocks during an extended period of turbulence in investment markets. Find out more about how recent market volatility has affected your UKRF benefits and what, if anything, you need to do about it in our article, Market volatility and your UKRF benefits.

Where we were invested as at 30 September 20212022

As at September 2022 As at September 2021
High return assets As at September 202218% As at September 202114%
Contractual cashflow assets (CCA) As at September 202227% As at September 202118%
High quality credit As at September 202220% As at September 202121%
Cash & Liability-driven investments (LDI) As at September 202235% As at September 202147%

In 2022, compared to the previous year our investment in:

  • High return assets (like equities); we have not made any new investments; however, these represented a slightly higher proportion of total assets due to the reduced value of the other categories
  • Contractual cashflow assets (assets that provide fixed cashflow at certain times (like the portfolio of solar farms)) represented a higher proportion of assets
  • High quality credit (lower-risk assets (like long-term bonds) that have more predictable cash flows) represented a slightly lower proportion of assets
  • Cash assets and LDIs (assets that align to our future liabilities) have reduced in value and now represent a lower proportion of assets.

NOTE: We have not significantly changed our investment strategy or asset allocation during the last year. However, each category of asset responds to changing market conditions in different ways and to varying degrees – which is why, proportionally, there are differences this year compared to last.

DC section (including the Afterwork Investment Account) investments

If you have DC benefits, you can choose your own investments from a range of funds. You can read about the funds available on the DC costs and charges page. You can also log in to your pension account to check where your DC Investment Account is invested.

Remember you’re saving for the long term.

Your DC savings are built up over years (decades even) and during this time there will be economic ups and downs and periods of short-term market volatility. If you’ve recently seen a fall in the value of your DC savings because of this volatility, it’s important to maintain this long-term focus.

Markets do generally recover over time and making decisions now, especially if you don’t need to, could have a negative impact in the long run. What is important is that you keep an eye on where you’re invested and make sure your choices are suited to your circumstances and retirement aims.

If you're planning to retire soon, you should consider speaking with a financial adviser authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide pensions-related advice, to understand your options and ensure that your choices are right for your circumstances. Visit MoneyHelper if you need help finding one. You can also get free guidance through the government’s Pension Wise service.

Who are our members?

We have around 213,000 members in 10 Sections. Overall we have:

  • 17,137 members building future benefits (active members).
  • 72,276 members receiving an income (pensioners and dependants).
  • 123,230 members who are no longer building benefits and are expected to take their benefits in future (deferred members).

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