PensionBee

review: is it any good?

Updated on
November 28, 2022

In a nutshell

Let your pension worries disappear. With PensionBee it’s easy to start a new pension, and move your old pensions over too. Their experts look after and grow your pension ready for retirement – you don’t need to worry about a thing. There’s one simple low fee too, and the customer service is excellent. 5 stars from us.

Our rating

PensionBee rated 5 stars
Nutty

PensionBee

cracked open 🥥

Bringing pensions into the 21st century or just a fancy app? Let’s find out.

Pensions are pretty complicated, and lot’s get lost over the years (billions of Pounds in fact). Do you know where all of your pensions are? Do you know how much money you have in your pensions or in just one of your pensions? Didn’t think so! And you’re not alone.

PensionBee is making pensions super simple – they go out there and find all your pensions, from various jobs across the years, and bring them all together in one nice, easy to manage pension. You don’t even need to have the paperwork. How great is that?

PensionBee review

If you haven’t got any previous pensions, no worries! You can just open a brand new pension with PensionBee – perfect if you’re self employed or just a very smart saver.

You can also open a pension with PensionBee in addition to your workplace pension (that's the pension your employer sets up for you if you're employed). It's a good idea to do this to boost your retirement savings further.

Workplace and personal pensions

And once you’ve started, you’ve got simple, easy to understand investment options for where you want your pension invested – and there’s even a socially responsible option (no fossil fuels). 

Their experts will take care of the investments, you don’t need to worry about a thing, just sit back and watch your money grow over time.

A special offer just for you

Get £50 for free when you sign up to Pensionbee with Nuts About Money.

Sign up, get £50¹Sign up, get £50¹

Capital at risk.

You’ll be able to manage and track your pension, all from your phone (actually viewing your total pension balance at any time – pretty cool).

PensionBee performance

The app is available on both Apple and Android devices and very highly rated. It’s 4.7 out of 5 on the Apple app store. And on the Google Play Store it’s a massive 5 stars out of 5!

PensionBee app rating

Best of all, whenever you add money into your pension, you’ll get a massive 25% bonus from the government! (We’ll cover this in detail later.)

PensionBee is also one of the cheapest options out there, with one simple low fee.

Already keen to get started? Here’s where to get started with PensionBee¹ – you’ll also get £50 added to your pension for free.

Want to learn more? Let’s get into the details.

About PensionBee themselves

What we really like with PensionBee is their mission to make pensions simple for everyone, very similar to our mission here at Nuts About Money, educating people about money in the simplest way possible.

They make pensions simple through the easy to use app and that’s really where the value is – everything is so simple. Plus, there’s a great customer support team at the click of a button, and you also get an account manager to look after you.

PensionBee app

They want to give you complete control and transparency over your retirement, they do not want to extract as much money from you as possible with hidden and extortionate fees, like many other pension providers. And there’s a lot out there!

With over 950,000 customers within the last 8 years, customers really appreciate PensionBee. In fact, our own pensions are with PensionBee too.

How PensionBee works

PensionBee is super simple, all you need to do is sign up and either start a brand new pension, or transfer over an existing pension. After that, you’ll pick from easy to understand investment options (pension plans), and then it’s all over to their experts – they’ll handle the pension transfer and the investments. You just sit back and relax until retirement.

Although saying that, we recommend you keep adding money to it if you can. Everytime you contribute to your pension with PensionBee (and all personal pensions), you’ll get a 25% bonus on everything you put in (we’ll cover this in more detail below). It's basically free money!

It’s super easy to add more money to PensionBee, you can either do it as a one-off, or a regular payment, all handled within the app itself.

Creating a new pension

You can start a brand new pension with PensionBee even if you have lots of other pensions and want to keep them where they are. Simply get started on the PensionBee website¹ – you’ll even get £50 added to your pension for free too. 

Transferring a pension

It couldn’t be easier to transfer your pension to PensionBee. All you need to do is log into the app, and provide the name of any previous pensions you want to transfer over. That’s it. They’ll go out and find your pension and move it over to PensionBee, all for free, and keep you updated on how the transfers are going in the app too (it can take a few weeks, and depending on who the provider is, a bit longer).

PensionBee transfers

Moving your pensions over is called consolidating your pension, and often a good idea. First, so you don’t lose track of them, and second, you can often benefit from lower fees if they’re all in one place. Plus, you can then decide how you want your money invested (e.g. no fossil fuel companies).

PensionBee pension consolidation

You can’t move over your current workplace pension (one your current employer set up for you) if you’re still paying into it – you can’t move this anywhere in fact, you have to wait until you get a new, better job! But you can simply start a new one with PensionBee alongside it.

Note: some pensions you won’t be able to transfer without getting financial advice first (if they’re larger than £30,000), called defined benefit pensions. These are normally government pensions, such as the NHS and the civil service. But you can open a brand new pension with PensionBee alongside them.

PensionBee pension plans

Picking an investment option is super simple and there's a great range of pension plans to choose from. You only need to pick one, and you can change whenever you like too.

The plans are based on how much risk you’d like to take (don’t be put off by the word risk!). The higher the risk, the more ups and downs there will be in the short term, but ultimately should grow more in the long-term.

Often the risk level is determined by your age – when you are young(ish), it’s completely fine to have a higher risk pension plan, as you’ve got lots of time to ride out the ups and downs of the market, and benefit from higher investment growth in the long term.

If you’re looking to retire in the next few years, a lower risk fund that keeps your money safe with a lower growth rate would be perfect for you.

Pension risk level

In fact, there’s a pension plan that will adjust the risk level for you, called the Tailored plan. So, you never have to worry about switching plans!

The most popular plans are the Tracker, Tailored and the Fossil Fuel Free plans. And we’ll cover them below.

Higher risk funds

  • Fossil Fuel Free: doesn’t invest in the fossil fuel or tobacco industries, and only those in the Paris Agreement – an international agreement to reduce climate change.
  • Shariah: only shariah-compliant investments – socially responsible investments that follow the principles of Islamic religion.
PensionBee – Fossil Fuel Free

Medium risk funds

  • Tracker: follows the world economy and stock markets.
  • Tailored: invests in higher risk to lower risk as you go through life.
  • 4Plus: simply aims to return 4% per year.

Low risk funds

  • Preserve: invests in established companies known for low risk to preserve your money.
  • Pre-Annuity: invests in bonds that provide an income similar to an annuity. An annuity is what pays your income when you retire.

Responsible funds

  • Fossil Fuel Free
  • Shariah

Overall, a great range of plans. And, with all the plans, your money is in safe hands. The plans are managed by some of the biggest money managers in the world, such as HSBC, Legal & General, State Street Global Advisors and BlackRock.

If you're looking to invest in a wider range of investment options, and to manage investments yourself, here’s the best self-invested personal pensions. Or, if PensionBee is for you, here’s £50 for free when you sign up¹ with Nuts About Money.

Self-invested personal pension

Also, PensionBee doesn’t provide advice, it’s your choice which plan to choose, but they do show you which is the most popular – and you can simply pick the Tailored plan, which will adjust the risk level as you get older, and never have to worry about it again.

PensionBee fees

There’s no fees at all for opening a pension, moving or consolidating your existing pensions into PensionBee. But what about fees for using the service and fees within the plans themselves?

The only fee you’ll pay is one, low annual fee depending on which fund you choose. And this ranges from 0.5% to 0.75% (0.95% for the Shariah plan), which is deducted from your pension automatically. And better yet, if your pension is over £100,000, the fees halve for any money above that. Not too bad at all. 

PensionBee fee

For comparison, with a financial advisor, you’ll be looking at around 2% per year for them to manage your pension for you. You may be able to find some pension options around 0.4%, but these are often managing your pension yourself (for instance buying and selling investments).

So it’s one of the cheapest options out there to have experts manage your pension for you, and it’s just one simple annual fee.

And, if you ever wanted to move your money away from PensionBee, it’s easy to do too, whenever you like, for free (they have confidence in themselves that you won't want to leave).

Government bonus

When you open a personal pension, such as with PensionBee, you'll get a massive 25% bonus from the government, on all the money you add in (not a pension transfer). Pretty great right?

Pension bonus

This is because pensions are intended to be tax-free saving, however when you add money into a personal pension, you've actually paid tax on the money (e.g. your salary), and so the government refunds this tax straight into your personal pension.

It's all automatic, PensionBee will handle everything. You just get free money added to your pension!

And if you're a higher rate (40%) or additional rate taxpayer (45%), you can claim tax back at these rates too. You'll have to do this via a Self-Assessment tax return (don't worry it's pretty easy and all online).

Self-employed?

Pensions are often an afterthought for the self-employed, too busy running a business or helping clients! But PensionBee has thought about you guys too.

You can open a brand new pension for yourself, you just need to add a small amount of cash initially, and then you’re away! Add in as much or as little whenever you want to, or set up a regular payment, it’s all entirely up to you.

Self-employed pensions

You’ll get the 25% tax bonus from the government when you pay in your own contributions too, all super easy. (You get this with all personal pensions.)

Interested in learning more about pensions for the self-employed? Here’s our guide to self-employed pensions.

If you're ready to get started with PensionBee, sign up here and get £50¹ added to your pension for free.

Taking your pension

When it comes to retiring, it’s also super easy to start withdrawing money from your PensionBee pension. 

PensionBee withdrawal

You can start withdrawing cash from your pension at age 55 (57 from 2028) – although we recommend you keep it invested for longer until you officially retire, so you have a nice big retirement income when you need it.

There’s 2 options to start taking your pension, the first is ‘drawdown’, which is simply taking money out of your pension whenever you like – you can even withdraw 25% completely tax-free too. Also, you can also change your pension plan to a low risk option that grows slowly without any big ups and downs if you do this too.

Pension tax-free lump sum

And the second option is to exchange your pension for an ‘annuity’, which gives you an income for the rest of your life. PensionBee partner with Legal & General to offer this option, and they’ll handle everything for you. Although you can choose an annuity from wherever you like when you retire, it doesn’t have to be with PensionBee.

Customer support

The customer service is excellent.

There's real people to chat to on the phone whenever you need them (in the UK too), well Monday - Friday 9:30am to 5pm.

Or if you prefer you can email in, or submit a support ticket, and they'll get back to you.

PensionBee customer support

There's also a help centre with answers to pretty much any question you might have about PensionBee or pensions in general. It's really good.

When you sign up, you'll be given a dedicated account manager, who will be there to help you with anything you need. They'll also move your pensions over from your other providers if you want to. You don't need to do anything.

Is PensionBee safe?

Don’t worry, your money is completely safe. 

PensionBee has been approved to look after your money by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and is regularly reviewed.

Your money is also protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so if something were to go wrong with a pension provider, you would get 100% of your pension back (although this is very unlikely anyway).

When you invest in a pension, your money is invested into funds (described above), and the value of these funds change over time depending on how well the economy and investments are performing.

So although they almost always trend higher over time (and that's how your pension grows), they can sometimes drop in value in the short-term, and therefore your balance may show less than what you invested.

Pension long-term performance

This isn't a problem for pensions or any long-term saving plans, such as Stocks & Shares ISAs, as over the long-term, which is many years for a pension, the result is a very large gain!

Don't let doubts put you off. Investing in a pension is the best way to save for a comfortable and happy retirement.

Pros and cons

Here's a quick recap and the pros and cons of PensionBee:

Pros

  • Pensions made easy
  • Easy to understand pension plans
  • They'll find all your pensions and move them over (consolidate)
  • Low fees
  • Great customer service
  • Great for self-employed too

Cons

  • No financial advice

PensionBee customer reviews

PensionBee has got an excellent rating on the popular reviews website, Trustpilot, with a score of 4.6 from over 8,000 reviews. And for a company in financial services where customer service isn't normally that great, this rating is awesome.

PensionBee Trustpilot rating

Most of the reviews mention how easy it is to use, and the low fees.

Our thoughts

A company that’s made pensions super simple, has low fees, and a great choice of pension plans – plus awesome customer service. What’s not to love?!

We’re not sure what else you could ask for from a pension manager to be honest. It’s great. Modern technology and a good app to give you up-to-date information on your pension.

They do all the hard work to move your existing pensions over, and for free, you just sit back and watch your money grow over time. Or, simply start a new pension if you like too – perfect for the self-employed. Plus, you’ll automatically get a 25% bonus every time you add more cash.

PensionBee puts you back in control of your pension – your money all in one place, easy to view, easy to manage, and for one simple annual fee – a fee you’re already paying for your current pension (and you’re probably paying more, so you might even save money).

Overall we love PensionBee, 5 stars from us.

If you’re keen to get started, or learn more, head over to the PensionBee website¹ – you'll also get £50 for free too.

Is there a deal?

There is! 🎉

We don’t think you should switch your pension just because of a deal, but if you like what you’ve read we’ve got a pretty good deal for you. Sign up with PensionBee and get £50¹ added to your pension.

If you want to learn more visit the PensionBee website, you can always come back here to get the deal when you’re ready to sign up.

A special offer just for you

Get £50 for free when you sign up to Pensionbee with Nuts About Money.

Sign up, get £50¹Sign up, get £50¹

Capital at risk.

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