Ad / PensionBee Review: Finally Sorting Out My Pension

AD / This article is sponsored by PensionBee*, but all opinions are my own. PensionBee is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. With pensions, your capital is at risk. *Asterisks set out in this article relate to advertising and they indicate that the author receives a small share of sales through the related link.*

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Today I’m going to be talking about why I wanted to start saving in a pension, and walk you through the step-by-step process.

I’ve been working on improving my finances for a while now. It’s taken me a few years but I’ve paid off my debt, bought a house and now the goal is working towards financial freedom!

My partner and I have regular chats about what our goals are, and a big goal that we have decided on is financial freedom/retiring early.

This is something that we need to throw a lot of money at, and to make sure that we are putting our money in the right places.

One of those places is in a pension! I’m self employed now and so I’m missing out on the perk of a workplace pension.

To be completely honest – I’ve been putting off sorting out a pension. 

There has always been a need for the money to go to other places, but I knew that I needed to get it done, so I have!

Because I have worked in places before where I’ve had a pension, I wasn’t sure how to work it all with random bits of pension floating around.

Luckily I’ve heard all about PensionBee* and knew that I wanted to consolidate all of my pensions with them and have one pot.

First thing’s first though:

Who Is PensionBee?

It’s all very well and good me chatting away about PensionBee, but you probably want to know who they are first!

PensionBee is a company which was founded in 2014. There are currently 266,000 customers signed up!

It is an award-winning online pension provider which was set up when the CEO Romi found that she could not easily switch her pension provider.

The pensions are managed by some of the world’s largest money managers – BlackRock, HSBC, Legal & General and State Street Global Advisors.

What Does PensionBee Do?

I know that the world of pensions can seem really confusing – I for one have never really understood it until looking into it more for my own research.

We all know that you can save in a pension for your retirement, but we don’t tend to go into the ins and outs of it.

Say you are working for a company at the moment and are paying part of your salary into your pension pot. The company will have their own pension providers that they deal with, which means that this tends to vary from job to job.

If you leave that job and join another company, you’ll likely find that they have placed your pension in a pot with another pension company.

Most of us bounce around from job to job over our lifetime, which means that there are various pension pots floating around with bits of money in them.

PensionBee will consolidate all of these old pension pots for you into one new pot with them, which you can then pay into whenever you want.

Getting Set Up With PensionBee (my personal experience)

As mentioned, I’ve been putting off sorting my pension out for a while. No excuses, just didn’t put it high enough on my list of priorities!

I was writing down my financial goals for my life and we have decided that we would like to aim for early retirement. 

So a huge part of that is making sure that we will have enough in savings/investments to support us – and a pension is included in that plan.

It’s important to make sure that you check all of the fees that you are currently paying on any of your pension plans and compare them to PensionBee.

I decided to go ahead with PensionBee and I was most happy about the fact that I can add to the contributions whenever I wanted and however much I wanted.

Firstly, head on over to the PensionBee* website and click on the ‘Sign up’ tab at the top. The whole process shouldn’t take you more than five minutes, and if you don’t have your paperwork handy, you can always go back to it. 

This will then take you to a screen where you will need to fill in your name and email address.

Then there is another step to fill in additional information that they require.

You’ll need to enter the details of the pension providers that you currently have from previous jobs.

This is so that PensionBee will contact them and try and find your pension plan. The more information that you can give the better as it will help them find it faster.

Before going through the sign up process I gathered up all of my pension paperwork (got a filing folder for all paperwork bits!) so that I had it ready to hand.

Once you’ve entered all of the information they will get to work transferring your pensions. Exciting times!

How long things take will depend on a variety of factors but my first pension was being transferred to PensionBee within 7 days of me setting it up, and then another 6 days after that to be fully through.

I set up a contribution for my pension as well, which was really easy to do.

The most important thing for me was that setting it up and contributing to it would be easy and flexible, which it was!

They have an area on the site which they call the ‘BeeHive’. This is like a dashboard where you can see your pension balance and activity within your account.

There are other tabs along the top where you can check out the analytics and so on.

How does PensionBee Work?

PensionBee will consolidate any existing pension plans you have into one new pot with them.

You will be able to choose which pension plan you want to go with, as there are a few options:

  • Tracker
  • Tailored
  • 4Plus
  • Future World
  • Shariah
  • Preserve
  • Match

You can click through on each one and select the one that you think would be best for you. If you’re unsure you can change the plan at any time, free of charge.

It’s important to remember that pensions are investments, so you will be selecting the type of investment and risk that you are happy with.

PensionBee’s App

I usually prefer to do everything on my laptop but I downloaded the PensionBee app to check it out.

And I loved it!

I am really impressed with how easy it is to use and think the layout is perfect if you are looking for a simple dashboard.

What Are PensionBee’s Fees 

When you’re signing up to something this important you need to be aware of the fees.

This is also useful for when you are deciding whether or not to transfer some of your pensions into PensionBee or keep them where they are.

The annual management fees for Pensionbee vary depending on which plan you choose, but they range from 0.50% – 0.95%.

If your pension pot is over £100,000 they will halve the fees for any savings over this amount.

It’s free to join PensionBee and there is no fee for switching over your pensions.

If you withdraw everything within 12 months of joining PensionBee then you will be charged a withdrawal fee of £480. Hopefully this won’t be necessary as the idea here is to make it a long-term account.

PensionBee Customer Reviews

I’ve personally been really happy so far with my experience with PensionBee. 

I found it really easy to sign up and enter all of the information. The only bit that I got stuck on was deciding which plan to go for.

You can take a look at other customer reviews over on Trustpilot, where Pensionbee have a 4.6/5 star overall review.

My Final Thoughts

I am really happy with how everything has gone with PensionBee so far!

It’s been fast, smooth and easy to understand. My favourite thing about using PensionBee is that you can choose how much to contribute and you don’t have to contribute anything for some months if you don’t want to.

They keep you updated via email throughout the whole process which I love! I created a folder within my emails to keep all of the emails from them to keep it all together.

I think PensionBee are great if you are looking for a company that will make something as confusing as pensions easy to understand.

Another plus is that you are assigned your own personal ‘BeeKeeper’ who you can contact if you need help with anything.

I wouldn’t have signed up to PensionBee if I was not 100% sure that I would be happy with them – I did my research and this seemed like the best fit for me. 

They have a great team who are happy to answer any questions you have but if you have any for now let me know in the comments below!