If having several pension pots dotted around is causing you a headache, then PensionBee has created a clear and simple platform where you can combine all your pensions in one place. PensionBee will do the hard work for you. All you need to do is tell it about your existing pensions. Plus the online provider has a range of pension plans to suit your investing needs, ranging from low to higher risk options. It also keeps its fees clear and simple, charging just one annual management fee. If you are looking to simplify your retirement savings, then PensionBee is offering you the chance to do just that.
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The emphasis behind PensionBee is to simplify retirement savings. A lot of us probably have several pensions sat with different providers. Which means that when it comes to retiring it can be a bit of a nightmare knowing what to use and when. PensionBee’s solution is to combine these all in one place, therefore making it easy to manage.
Beyond the concept of putting all your pensions in one place, what PensionBee also focuses on is keeping its fees simple. Rather than having separate fund fees, platform fees or adviser fees, the online provider just has one annual management fee. This is calculated as a percentage of your pension pot and is automatically deducted on a daily basis. If your pension pot happens to be more than £100,000, then PensionBee will halve the fee on the portion of your savings above this amount. There are also no charges for drawdowns or exit fees if you decide that PensionBee is just not for you.
When it comes to your personal finances, PensionBee looks to offer variety. It has nine pension plans to choose from. These include lower risk plans which make short-term investments in creditworthy companies, right through to environmentally focused plans which invest only in companies aligned with the Paris Agreement goals. Plus there is the added advantage that all of PensionBee’s plans are managed by experienced money managers. These include the likes of State Street Global Advisors, HSBC, BlackRock and Legal & General.
What could be improved?
PensionBee’s fees are comparable to other online pension platforms. However, if you do decide to go for a plan at the top-end, then just bear in mind the annual charge will be at the higher end of the market. </p
While PensionBee offers to transfer old pensions over, it is not entirely clear what is done about your current workplace pension. It admits that this area is a bit tricky due to employer contributions. So instead it suggests leaving the active pension where it is, and then transfer it fully when you leave that job. There is an option that your employer can pay into your PensionBee pension but that would be up to them. So it’s not quite the case you can have everything in one place straight away.
Finally, while PensionBee has tried to make the transfer of old pensions as simple as possible, there are always a few things that could complicate things. If any of your old pensions have exit fees of more than £10, or come with special benefits or guarantees, then it will need to contact you for permission to make the transfer.
Fees you should know about
While it claims that there is only one annual management fee to content with, that is not entirely the case. You should also expect to pay transaction costs. These are costs associated with the buying and selling of investments in your plan. The weighted average cost is 0.03%, and they range from -0.03% to 0.27%. However, these are directly captured in the value of your pension.
The only other fee to bear in mind is a drawdown fee of £480 if you choose to withdraw everything within 12 months of transferring your pensions to PensionBee. Similarly, the same fee will be charged if the balance of your account is less than £480 at the point of withdrawal.
How do you apply?
You can apply online through the PensionBee website. The first step is to provide as much information as you can about your old pension providers. If you don’t want to choose a plan straight away, you will be directed towards the provider’s Tailored plan. However, there is no fee to change your plan if you decide what you want at a later date.
Service and support
As a digital pension provider, PensionBee not only allows you to manage your account online 24/7, but you can also use its mobile app. Here you will be able to view the value of your pension in real time, look at its performance history, track any outstanding pension transfers from old providers and make contributions.
However, if you do need to talk to someone, you have a personal ‘Beekeeper’ at your disposal. They are UK based and can be contacted by phone, email or live chat.
Is PensionBee right for you?
If you prefer to keep things simple, then PensionBee could be a suitable option for your pension. Where PensionBee really comes into its own is if you are nearing retirement. By combining all pensions in one place, you would only need to make one drawdown transaction. You can also keep track of what you have withdrawn from your retirement savings easier, as all information is kept in one place.
PensionBee also suits customers who want a clear and transparent fee structure. As there are no fees for making contributions, drawdowns or changing plans, you only need to think about the annual management charge for your selected plan.