Bringing pensions into the 21st century or a flashy gimmick on the classically boring topic?
Let me ask you this, do you know where all of your pensions are? Do you know how much money you have in your pensions, do you even know how much you have in just one of your pensions? Didn’t think so! And you’re not alone.
PensionBee is more than just a flashy app for your phone, they actually go out there in the big bad world of finance and find all your pensions, from various jobs across many years, you don’t even need to have the paperwork, just the provider name, and they bring all the money together in once nice pot. That’s called consolidating your pension.
Once that’s done, on average in 12 weeks, you can start using the service. That means managing and tracking your pension, all from your phone – actually viewing your total pension balance at any time, what a revelation!
Oh by the way, they’ll also ask your permission if there are ‘exit fees’ of more than £10 to move your money from an old provider, so there’s no hidden costs involved.
It’s super easy to get started, all you need to do is pick which fund you want to put your money into – and all within the app. A fund is a fancy word for saying a group of investments, and your choice should be based on how much risk you’d like to take, more risk = normally more expected reward, but often it’s dictated by your age; when you’re young, it’s fine to have more high risk investments which aim to generate large returns over a longer period of time, and as a result can have short term losses – but not ideal if you want to retire in the next couple of years.
Therefore, if you are due to retire soon you would pick a low risk fund to preserve your money in secure low-return, typically income producing investments, rather than the high risk ones which aim to increase overall capital. Better yet, they’ve even got responsible funds which have a positive impact in the world, such as investments only in environmentally friendly companies. Interest in the funds available? We’ve listed them a bit further down.
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 app and the platform, and that’s really where the value is – plus real people via customer support! They want to give you complete control and clarity over your retirement, they do not want to extract as much money from you as possible with hidden and extortionate fees, like many products and services in the financial world. And with now over 400,000 customers within the last 6 years, customers really are appreciating the simplicity.
They’ve also won several awards, a key one being the best online business of the year for 2019 in the Growing Business Awards.
Tell me more about the service
4.7/5 rating on Trustpilot. Very good, well excellent in fact. And that’s from nearly 4,000 reviews. Better yet, real people, on the phones, whenever you need them. Pretty rare these days. There’s also live chat (one of our favourites), and email support.
Pensions are often an afterthought, too busy running a business or helping clients! But PensionBee has thought about you guys too.
If you’re a sole trader you can get your 25% tax top up from the government when you pay in your own contributions, all super easy.
If you’re a director of a limited company, they’ve thought about you too and can help with offsetting against your company’s corporation tax.
Haven’t got an existing pension?
Unfortunately, here is where PensionBee falls down, you cannot open an account if you haven’t got one, or don’t want to move an existing pension to PensionBee. However it is by design, they want to be the best solution for combining old pensions into a new online pension plan.
They’ve got some cool tools too
Check out this pension calculator, which will project how much you will get annually when you retire, depending on how much your contributions are, current pension pot, age and all the fun stuff. Well fun for pensions. Let’s hope the figure isn’t too depressing for you. Maybe PensionBee can help you change your fortunes?
They’ve also got a drawdown calculator, which shows you how much cash you’ll be working with when you want to withdraw it. Hmm, perhaps we should be paying more each month?
Is PensionBee expensive?
There’s no fees at all for moving and consolidating your existing pensions into PensionBee. But what about fees for using the service and fees within the funds themselves?
What you will pay is an annual fee depending on which fund you choose. And this ranges from 0.5% to 0.95%, 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.
For comparison, anything above 1% fee for a fund is considered expensive, and you may be able to find some pension funds around 0.4%, so it’s not the cheapest, but it’s within a good range, plus there’s no other fees at all. Here's an interactive calculator to see how much fees would be for you.
And if you ever wanted to move your money away from PensionBee, it’s easy to do, and no exit fees after the first 12 months. That’s confidence in their own service.
What funds can I choose from?
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)
- Future World (only invests in companies that are environmentally-friendly)
- Shariah (only shariah-compliant investments – socially responsible investments that follow the principles of Islamic religion).
- 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)
- Match (This is your ‘standard’ pension fund and invests in a mix of different assets, such as companies, or bonds, which is a fancy word for a loan that pays interest)
- Pre-Annuity (invests in bonds that provide an income similar to an annuity. An annuity is what pays your income when you retire)
- Fossil Fuel Free (previously explained)
- Future World (previously explained)
- Shariah (previously explained)
Not a bad range of funds, and these are the only funds you are able to invest your pension into. So it’s not for anyone looking for a wide range or to self-manage their pension fund, there are better platforms for that. PensionBee also does not offer financial advice, it is your choice which fund to invest in, but they do show you which is the most popular.
Your money is in safe hands too; the funds are managed by some of the biggest money managers in the world, such as HSBC, Legal & General, State Street Global Advisors and BlackRock.
And don’t worry, your money is completely safe. All of your money is protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so if something were to go wrong you would get 100% of your pension back.
A company looking to simplify pensions? A big green tick from us! Great customer service? Another tick. Low fees? Tick. Good choice of funds? Tick. All the ticks.
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 ponder which fund to put your money into. For us, it’s environmentally-friendly investments all the way, how about you?
If you’re a normal everyday person, and this is not financial advice, you probably don’t need pension advisors with extortionate fees and complicated, expensive managed investments. 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 – one which you are already paying for within your current pension plans, and I bet you’re not even sure how much that fee is do you? That’s what PensionBee is here to solve. Your pension, in your hands.
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 read and would like to try PensionBee (you can change your mind within 30 days), then we’ve got a pretty good deal for you, it’s £50 in cash, into your pension pot – free money! Not bad.
So if you do want to use PensionBee, sign up here to get the free money. But if you don’t want to learn more first, then here’s their homepage – you can always come back here to get the deal when you’re ready to sign up.