This time last year I was looking back on my first year as PensionBee CEO. Back then we had a team of six, all squeezed into one tiny office.
12 months on we’ve got a team that’s over twice the size (and thankfully a bigger office).
Lots of people ask me how we got here, so I thought I’d share the story. Here’s what happened at PensionBee in 2016…
Over 15,000 signups from people like you
At time of writing we’ve had 15,263 signups. This figure grows bigger and bigger every day, and it feels like we’ve really struck a chord with savers - especially when we talk to customers and read their Trustpilot reviews. Our favourite response has to be from Samantha, who told us this back in August:
“Pensions are not to be taken lightly and are shrouded in old-school mystery - both of which put me off sorting out this important to-do list activity. When I eventually lifted my head from running my business I took the time to research what 21st century options are available and that’s when I found PensionBee. Simple, straightforward, fuss-free, fantastic communication and a team genuinely dedicated to the customer.”
Helping people like Samantha is why we set up PensionBee. From fairer fees to a beautiful online account, we’re building a pension service that’s fit for today, and for tomorrow. That’s why we put so much effort into creating the BeeHive this year…
The BeeHive goes live
2016 saw the launch of the BeeHive (our online pension account), which allows you to manage your pension in a few clicks. We started with the pension calculator but quickly added more, including tools to set up contributions, add beneficiaries and track your pension balance. Our latest feature is the pension history that shows performance over time, as well as a new activity log that shows you when money’s been paid in (plus how much the government has added on top).
We intend to add more features in 2017 and what we build will be driven by you. If you have things you’d like to see added you can contact our product manager, Mario. He’s always listening to new ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Building an amazing product is only half our job though, as we’ve discovered time and time again this year…
Taking on a dusty old industry
In tracking and transferring pensions we’ve encountered all kinds of difficulties. We’ve seen sluggish response times, transfer delays and some staggeringly bad customer service, so in July we decided enough was enough. We took it all to the press.
The Telegraph, The Times and This is Money all picked up the story, as well as a number of industry-specific titles like Citywire and PensionsAge. From news rooms to boardrooms it’s fair to say we’ve ruffled a few feathers (just ask our VP Marketing, Jasper). We’ll continue pressing them publicly until they’re forced to change, working together with the media and regulator. This is just the beginning…
Acclaim for innovation
And finally, 2016 saw us proudly recognised for our revolutionary approach to pensions. We won the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition back in April, beating dozens of impressive businesses.
Then, in November, we saw acclaim from the Financial Times. We were named one of their top ten ‘fintech companies to watch’ putting us amongst some of the brightest startups in the world.
Just days after we then won the prize for Innovative Business of the Year at the 2016 Startups Awards - cue big grins all round!
It was a fantastic end to what’s been an incredible year at PensionBee. We’ve got big plans on every front, so expect even more from us in 2017. Seasons greetings from me and the team!