Both are similar, yet have some key differences. The S&P500 Index tracks the performance of the top 500 largest companies which are listed on one of the major stock exchanges in the USA, which includes several non-US companies with their shares traded on multiple stock exchanges. The MSCI EAFE Index tracks the performance of large companies listed on 23 large stock exchanges worldwide, including many from Europe, Asia, and Australasia, and specifically excludes USA and Canadian stock exchanges. So whilst both indices operate in exactly the same way, the companies which comprise the respective indices are different.
This pension plan is available with the iShares MSCI EAFE Index ETF as the underlying investment (instead of the iShares S&P500 Index ETF) upon request, with exactly the same terms and conditions as the S&P500 version (including the exact same guaranteed minimum return). It is not possible to split the pension plan between the two indices unless you start two separate pension plans.
We have chosen to highlight the S&P500 Index version as we believe it represents a better investment overall, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the MSCI EAFE version, but we chose the S&P500 version for ourselves and therefore that’s what we are highlighting to others.
If you would like to have a pension plan with the MSCI EAFE as the underlying investment instead of the S&P500, please message us and we’ll process your application manually rather than doing it via our website, as that is set up for the S&P500 version.