Where we invest

Learn more about where we invest and why.

We invest in different ways

Railpen’s pooled fund range covers 3 main asset types:

  • Public markets, including stocks and bonds
  • Private markets, including investments made in private companies
  • Real assets and infrastructure, including property

 You can find out more about the different asset types and what they cover below. 

A steel safe, with the door open, and the insides full of money
We do this for a number of reasons...

Spreading investments across these different asset types, helps Railpen (the administrator of the Railways Pension Scheme and investor of members’ money) to deliver better long-term outcomes for our members, and gives greater flexibility and resilience against current and future risks.

It also means that the money you pay into the Scheme (plus any returns) is invested into a wide variety of opportunities, companies and brands, which have been carefully selected to generate financial returns in line with the Trustee’s mission to ‘pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably’.

Railpen uses all the opportunities available to them to deliver on this mission, including something called ‘stewardship,’ which means monitoring, understanding and influencing the behaviour of the companies we invest in.

Railpen also believes that it is possible – and necessary – to deliver financial returns for members, while also positively contributing to the world members retire into. You can read more about this on the ‘sustainable ownership page.’

The Trustee and Railpen have worked together to create a set of investment beliefs that are deeply embedded in everything we do. They help Railpen navigate market uncertainty, uncover investment opportunities and adapt to the evolving pensions landscape. You can find out more about these investment beliefs and how they guide where, and how, Railpen invest your pension contributions on the ‘our approach to investing’ page

Understanding the different asset types....
1. Public Markets

Public markets cover things like shares in a company (equities) and fixed income, primarily bonds, which are loans to governments or corporations that provide regular interest payments.

Public markets are open to almost any investor.

In order to be part of the public markets, a company must first conduct an initial public offering (IPO). This is when a private company offers its shares to the public for the first time. They must then comply with ongoing reporting requirements.

One such company that Railpen is invested in through public markets, is CMR Surgical. It’s a UK company, which developed a surgical robot that is now used by surgeons to perform keyhole surgery.

You can find out more on Railpen’s public markets webpage.    

2. Private Markets

Private markets cover that which is not traded on a public exchange or stock market.

This includes private equity (investments made in private companies), venture capital (primarily financing for start-up companies and small businesses) and private lending.

In this instance, Railpen takes a flexible approach, looking at companies around the world that not only offer the potential for good investment returns, but are working towards a better future in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

One such example is the IP Group, whose portfolio includes medical device company, Oxford Nanopore. Their DNA sequencing capabilities played a central role in the monitoring of COVID-19 variants around the world.

Find out more on Railpen’s private markets page.  

3. Real Assets

Railpen’s Real Assets team invests in physical assets, that generate positive, long-term returns for our members.

This includes commercial and residential property, as well as infrastructure, with a particular focus on sustainable energy.

When making their investment decisions, the team consider a variety of environmental, social and governance factors, because these are a significant driver of investment outcomes and are seen to help make a positive contribution to the world our members’ retire into.

Railpen is a significant investor in something called 'place-based investments’ – investments that seek to secure financial returns for pension scheme members like you, while also seeking to have a positive local impact.

Example investments in this area, include 2 wind farms in Scotland, 1 in South Ayrshire and the other in Argyll and Bute. 

Find out more on Railpen’s real assets page.

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