In a nutshell
Let your pension worries disappear. With PensionBee it’s easy to start a new pension, they can even transfer your old pensions over to them. Rated 5 star, their mobile app and website is easy to use. There’s no hidden fees and their customer service is also great, you’re in safe hands.
cracked open 🥥
Bringing pensions into the 21st century or a flashy gimmick on the classically boring topic of pensions?
Let's 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. Neither did we!
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. This is called consolidating your pension.
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.
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 very smart!
You can also open a pension with PensionBee in addition to your workplace pension (that's the pension your employer will set up for you if you're employed). It's a good idea to do this to boost your retirement savings further.
Note: if you are in the civil service or have a government pension, you can't transfer these, but you can open a brand new pension with PensionBee.
Once you’re up and running, you’ll be able to manage and track your pension, all from your phone – actually viewing your total pension balance at any time, what a revelation!
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).
They’ve even got responsible funds (sustainable) which have a positive impact in the world, such as investments only in environmentally friendly companies. Interested in the funds available? We go through 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 people and services in the financial world. And, with now over 900,000 customers within the last 7 years, customers really are appreciating the simplicity.
They’ve also won several awards, a key one being best customer service in 2022 (Boring Money).
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 transfer). Pretty great right?
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 your income (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!
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 easy and all online).
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 when they can.
There's also a help centre with answers to pretty much any question you might have about PensionBee or pensions in general. It' 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.
Pensions are often an afterthought, 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.
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!
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?
The tools are in the app too, so you can keep playing around with them, whenever you like.
Is PensionBee expensive?
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 funds themselves?
What you will pay is an 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.
For comparison, anything above 1% fee for a pension is getting on the expensive side. And 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 not the cheapest overall, but it’s within a good range, and very reasonable for having someone manage your pension. Plus there’s no other fees at all. Here's a 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?
There's a great range of funds to choose from, and your choice should be based on how much risk you’d like to take, more risk = normally more expected reward.
It's often dictated by your age – when you are young(ish), it’s completely fine to have more high risk investments which aim to generate large returns over a longer period of time and build up your pension fund, and as a result can have short term losses.
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.
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).
- 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)
- Fossil Fuel Free (previously explained)
- Shariah (previously explained)
A great range of funds, and these are the only funds you are able to invest your pension into. So it’s not for anyone looking to self-manage their pension fund, there are better platforms for that, which you can find in our comparison table of best private pensions (SIPPs).
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 – you’ll often just decide which one based on your age, with the higher-risk funds when you’re younger, and low-risk when you’re nearing retirement. (We are PensionBee customers here at Nuts About Money, and use the Fossil Fuel Free fund).
Your money is in safe hands with PensionBee 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.
Is PensionBee safe?
Don’t worry, your money is completely safe. Your money is 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.
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 of the pros and cons of PensionBee:
- Pensions made easy
- They'll find all your pensions and move them over (consolidate)
- Great customer service
- Low fees
- Great for self-employed too
- No financial advice
- Simple investment options
What do the people say?
It's 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 the best, it's awesome.
A company looking to simplify pensions? A big green tick from us! Great customer service? Another tick. Low fees? Tick. Great choice of funds? Tick.
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, 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. 5 stars from us.
Here's where to learn more and get start with PensionBee¹ (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.