Frequently Asked Questions

About the PensionBee service

What does PensionBee do?

PensionBee combines your old pensions into a brand new online plan, managed by one of the world’s biggest money managers. If you don’t know exactly where your old pensions are, your personal BeeKeeper can track them down for you by using our in-house database or helping you contact your old employers.

Once you have transferred your pensions, you can login to your account online anytime, wherever you are. Inside the BeeHive, you will find a beautiful digital dashboard and other tools to manage and plan your pension. It’s finally time to say goodbye to reams of paperwork and impossible jargon.

Why should I consolidate my pensions with PensionBee?

Your pension is your money for retirement, and you should feel like you’re in control of it. If you’ve had several different jobs (and people now have an average of 11 during their careers) then you probably have several different pension pots. Most pension providers still have a habit of sending hefty paperwork that’s full of small print, jargon and hidden fees that reduce the value of your pension over time. This makes it pretty tricky to keep track of your retirement savings and plan for the future.

With PensionBee, you can easily manage your pension in an online account and get on top of your retirement situation. You can see your current pot size, your projected retirement income, and set up regular or one-off contributions with a few clicks. Your personal BeeKeeper is on hand to help you with anything you need, and our pension calculator can tell you whether you’re on track to meet your retirement goal. PensionBee exists to make managing your pension easier.

Is it ever better to leave my pensions where they are? What if there are exit fees or guaranteed benefits?

These days, most providers don’t charge any exit fees. However, if we are searching for your pensions we will let you know if we find any exit fees greater than £10.

If your old pension has guarantees, such as guaranteed annuity rates or a final salary promise, we will send you the full paperwork to review before we transfer it.

If you have a pension with guaranteed benefits over £30,000, you are required to take financial advice from a transfer specialist before you transfer it. PensionBee does not provide financial advice and you will need to find an adviser.

How much does it cost to use PensionBee and how does this compare to other providers?

We don’t charge you any fees to transfer your pensions to PensionBee. There is just an annual management fee, which is automatically deducted from your pension. For pensions under £100,000 you’ll pay one annual fee of 0.5 - 0.95%, depending on which plan you choose. Once your pension grows larger than £100,000 you’ll pay half the fee on the portion of your savings above this amount.

In addition, all investments include transaction costs related to the buying and selling of underlying securities (such as shares) in your plan. These include costs such as stamp duty reserve tax or levies charged by the regulatory or tax authorities. These are not fees earned by PensionBee, but the effect of transaction costs is to reduce the performance (or growth) of your plan so it is important that you know about them.

Most asset managers, including our asset managers - BlackRock, State Street and Legal & General - now separately disclose these costs. Transaction costs are generally very small in our plans as we work only with the largest asset managers in the world and the maximum cost on any of our plans is 0.06%. To learn more about transaction costs and how they have been calculated, you can download our explanatory paper here.

Is there an exit fee to leave PensionBee?

There’s no exit fee if you leave PensionBee at any point. There’s also a 30 day cancellation policy, which means we will return your pensions to your old providers (assuming they are also willing to take them back) free of charge if you cancel your PensionBee plan within 30 days of opening it.

What if I’m currently in a plan that my employer pays into?

Transferring this type of pension can be a little tricky, because we want your pension to stay open and you can keep receiving those important contributions from your employer!

This means that lots of customers choose to leave their active pensions where they are for now, in order to transfer them fully when they leave their current employment. However, you can add an active pension in your BeeHive and tell us to resume your transfer when you leave your current job.

Can my employer pay into my pension?

Yes, absolutely, as long as they are happy to. Ask your BeeKeeper how to set this up.

Can I change my mind about any (or all) of my pensions?

Yes. You can choose to cancel any individual pensions that have not yet started transferring in the BeeHive. We will also send your pension back to your provider for up to 30 days after the transfer, as long as they agree to accept it. If you would like to close your account overall, please email your BeeKeeper. You can also transfer your PensionBee pension to a new provider and we do not charge any exit fees to do this.

Can I open a new pension without transferring old pensions in?

No. We want PensionBee to be the best solution for combining your old pensions into one online plan, so we do not offer new pensions for customers who do not combine their pensions with PensionBee.

About locating and transferring pensions

How do you locate and transfer my pension?

When you signup to PensionBee, we will ask you a limited amount of information about yourself to locate and transfer your pension. You will speed things up if you can provide us with information about your previous pension such as the name of your pension provider or policy number.

How long will it take to locate and transfer my pension?

On average, it takes up to 12 weeks to locate and transfer your old pensions. We rely on your pension providers to give us information about your old pensions and some of them are quite slow.

If you have your old paperwork, you can speed up the process by telling us your provider name, reference number and an estimated balance in the BeeHive.

Do I have to sign anything?

We believe that putting your pensions in one place should be easy and hassle-free.

Therefore, when we gather information about your pensions, we will only ask you to sign once digitally.

As part of your signup, you must confirm that you authorise us to use your signature digitally or physically by placing it on a standard letter of authority.

Most providers will accept a letter of authority with a digital signature, but if your provider insists on using paper with “wet” signatures, we will use our robot, Armie, to transpose your digital signature onto a piece of paper. Watch the video of how it works here.

We will treat your signature as we treat all of your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

If your provider requires transfer forms, you will need to sign these. Most customers can now sign these digitally, but very occasionally, we may need to post them out to you.

About the PensionBee plans

What is the PensionBee investment philosophy?

We believe in offering good value pension plans, based on low investment costs and diversity in investment.

Where can I learn more about the plans?

Our plans page details the differences between the six plans currently available. Each plan also has a link to a plan factsheet.

What are the risks of investing my money in a PensionBee plan?

As with all pensions, your capital is at risk. Your PensionBee plan will go up and down in value and you may get back less than you started with.

You should take the time to look at the available plans so that you can make your own decision based on what’s right for you as you will bear the risks of your decision.

Please note that your money is managed by some of the largest money managers in the world and not by PensionBee.

Does PensionBee charge a fee to change my plan?

No, we do not charge any fees to change your plan but make sure you read How much does it cost to use PensionBee and how does this compare to other providers? You can change plans through the BeeHive.

Is my pension protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?


As the PensionBee Plans are structured as investments in long term unit-linked insurance policies, they are protected by the FSCS for 100% of your proven claims as assessed and accepted by the FSCS (without upper limit).

Additionally, PensionBee is a Financial Conduct Authority regulated entity and accordingly you are covered for claims of up to £50,000 should we become insolvent.

About contributions

How do I make a contribution?

When you sign up to PensionBee, you’ll find a contributions tab. Click on the tab and decide if you want to make a personal or employer contribution. Once you’ve done that, simply fill in the short online form.

You can make a single one-off contribution or set up a regular contribution using Direct Debit. Simply follow the instructions on-screen when making a contribution.

How long does it take?

After you fill in the online form, your contribution will show up as ‘pending’ in your history tab. How long it takes to process your contribution differs, depending on whether you set up a Direct Debit or a bank transfer.

If there are any issues with either payment method, your BeeKeeper will be in touch.

Direct Debit contributions

Depending on your bank it can take around 12 working days for your funds to show as ‘live’ in your account. This includes the time taken for your funds to arrive in our account and be reconciled, plus five working days for our asset managers to invest your funds into your pension.

Bank transfer contributions

By setting up a bank transfer you will need to make the payment via your bank. Depending on your bank, setting up a bank transfer can take different amounts of time.

Once the payment has left your account, it can take around 8 working days for your funds to show as ‘live’ in your account. This includes the time taken for your funds to arrive in our account and be reconciled which is 2-3 working days, plus five working days for our asset managers to invest your funds into your pension.

Are there any tax advantages to making contributions?

If you are making a personal contribution and you are eligible for tax relief, you will also receive a 25% tax top-up. This will take approx 6-8 weeks to arrive from HMRC.

If you are making an employer contribution and you are a company director, your contribution can be classed as a business expense instead of salary. As a result, you will save on corporation tax and also National Insurance and income tax. There are no additional tax top-ups from HMRC for employer contributions. Check with your accountant if you are unsure about whether to contribute from your company or your personal bank account.

I have my own business, do I make a personal or employer contribution?

If you are a sole trader, you can only make a personal contribution. If you are a company director of your business, you can make a personal and/or an employer contribution. If you are making an employer contribution, the money needs to come from your business account. If you want to make a personal contribution, the payment needs to come from your personal account.

Are there any charges for setting up contributions?

No, you simply pay your normal yearly annual management charge. This depends upon which plan you have chosen.

Are there any minimum contribution amounts?

There are no minimum contribution amounts.

How do I amend or cancel my regular contribution?

It’s easy to make changes or cancel your contribution. Simply go to your BeeHive, click on the contributions tab, and follow the instructions.

With a Direct Debit, you can amend your contribution amount, the payment date, and your source of funds from within the BeeHive. If you want to change your bank account details, you will need to cancel your existing Direct Debit with us and set up a new one.

If you want to amend the amount of your regular contribution by bank transfer, you must first cancel your existing contribution. This can be done via your BeeHive, and then you’ll need to set up a new contribution with the amended amount.

I have a joint bank account. Can I still set up a Direct Debit?

Yes you can. Make sure there is not more that one signature required by your bank. If your account does require multiple signatures you can still make contributions by setting up a bank transfer. Please get in touch with your BeeKeeper for more information.

About drawdown

How do I drawdown from my pension?

When you reach 55, you can start withdrawing from your pension. You can take up to 25% as a tax-free sum, and leave the rest invested. How much you drawdown and how often you do so is totally up to you.

Our drawdown option gets activated as soon as you hit your 55th birthday. From then on it’s just a case of visiting your BeeHive, and answering some simple questions to access your money.

How long does it take to receive my money?

On average it can take 2 to 3 weeks for you to receive your money.

How much does drawdown with PensionBee cost?

Unlike other providers we won’t charge you extra fees for drawing down your pension. However if your pot has been with PensionBee for less than a year and you wish to withdraw it in full, then a full withdrawal fee of £480 applies. This fee will also be charged should the value of your account be less than the £480 fee at the point of withdrawal.

Can I transfer a pension already in drawdown?

Whilst the answer is generally yes, there are a few things you need to be aware of before making the decision to transfer a pension in drawdown. If your current pension is in Capped Drawdown, it will be converted to Flexi-Access Drawdown. This means you will become subject to the Money Purchase Annual Allowance as soon as you take any income payment.

If your current drawdown product is giving you a regular monthly income, please note that this is not a feature we accommodate at the moment - you will need to make a new request each time you want to drawdown part of your benefits.

Can I drawdown part of my 25% tax free cash now, and some at a later date?

Yes, PensionBee offers the ability to be completely flexible with your drawdown.

About the PensionBee referral programme

Are there rewards for referring friends to PensionBee?

Yes! We’ll put £50 in your pension if you tell a friend about us and they transfer a pension to PensionBee. We’ll also put £50 in your friend’s pension once their transfer completes.

How does the referral scheme work?

Once you’ve signed up to PensionBee, we’ll send you an email with your very own referral link to share with your friends. If a friend follows this link and signs up to PensionBee, when their first pension goes live we’ll add £50 to your pension and £50 to your friend’s pension.

The amount is made up of £40 from PensionBee and £10 tax relief, so you need to be eligible for pension tax relief to receive the full amount.

Please read the full terms and conditions here.

How many friends can I refer?

There’s no limit to the number of friends you can refer and the number of rewards you can receive.

About transferring out of PensionBee

How do I transfer my pension out of PensionBee?

If your provider is using Origo Options, they will need to request a transfer through the electronic system. Please ask them to search for PensionBee in order to avoid delays.

If your provider is not using Origo Options, they will need to email their completed transfer-in forms to ****. If these forms are not complete, then we will likely require further information to initiate a transfer.

We will send you a confirmation email to let you know when we have received your new provider’s completed forms.

How long does it take to transfer my pension out of PensionBee?

The transfer out process begins when your new provider sends us all of the required information to complete your transfer out. We will send you a confirmation email too.

From this point, PensionBee aims to transfer to most other FCA-regulated personal pension companies on Origo Options within 14 days. The majority of the industry has subscribed to this service.

Due to the threat of pension scams, which include fraudulent companies and also pension liberators who promise to release monies in your pension before the age of 55 while avoiding onerous tax charges, other transfers may take longer and we are required by the regulators to perform additional due diligence checks.

This process may be dependent on obtaining important information from third parties (such as HMRC) and whilst this could take up to 6 months, the legal deadline for pension transfers, we will endeavour to complete this as soon as possible. It is important for us to complete our diligence, as otherwise, you and we may be subject to onerous tax charges from HMRC. We may decline a transfer out in order to meet our regulatory obligations.

Are there any exit fees for transferring out of PensionBee?

We do not believe in exit fees, so we do not charge our customers when they leave PensionBee.

About PensionBee security and data protection

How do you protect my personal information?

At PensionBee we take the security of your personal information very seriously. We take administrative, legal, technical and physical precautions to ensure the security of your information in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679.

By entering your information into our system, you give us permission to use your information in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

What are the digital security policies of PensionBee?

All communications between your browser and our website are secured using 128-bit TLS encryption, to ensure that only people authorised to view your personal information can do so. Information is stored in secure databases and data centres accredited to multiple internationally recognised standards. Our security controls are tested on an annual basis by independent experts.

How do I protect myself against pension scams?

According to The Pensions Regulator, thousands of people have lost their life savings after falling for a pension scam.

Here’s how to protect yourself in 5 steps.

  1. Be wary of cold calls, unsolicited texts and emails. Scammers will often claim they’re from Pension Wise or other government-backed bodies. These organisations would never phone or text to offer a pension review.
  2. Check the companies you are working with are on the FCA register. You can search by name or registration number. For example, PensionBee’s registration number is 744931. You can also check the FCA’s scam webpage. Do some Google research and read online reviews with “verified orders”.
  3. Steer clear of overseas investment deals or “guaranteed” returns. Well-known scam types include unregulated investment in a hotel, vineyard or other overseas opportunities, and where your money is all in one place - and therefore more at risk. You can never guarantee returns on an investment.
  4. Don’t be rushed into a decision. Scammers will try to pressure you with ‘time limited offers’ or send a courier to your door to wait while you sign documents. Take your time to make all the checks you need - even if this means turning down an ‘amazing’ deal.
  5. If you’re aged 50 or over, talk to Pension Wise.

About PensionBee

When and why was the company established?

The company was established in 2014 to help sort out the UK’s pension mess –excessive complexity, impossible jargon, hidden fees and lack of transparency. We’re excited to make the UK pension system work for all pension savers. Read more about our mission here.

Who are the people behind PensionBee?

We’re a multi-disciplinary team, passionate about changing the pensions industry. Some of us, including CEO Romi Savova, are finance professionals, while others are marketing experts, tech whizzes or design pros. And our BeeKeepers are the pension finders and the customer service experts in our midst. It’s one of them you’re likely to speak to if you give us a buzz.

This combination means we can create a platform that looks good and works beautifully. It means we can offer you a pension plan that’s fit for the 21st century.

Who owns PensionBee?

PensionBee is a privately owned company. State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third largest asset manager, is the largest external shareholder in PensionBee. Our registered Company Number on Companies House is 09354862.

How does PensionBee make money?

Using PensionBee to locate your pensions is always completely free. The only fee you pay once your pension is invested is the annual management fee, ranging from 0.5% - 0.95% depending on which plan you are in.

You are free to leave or switch at any time, however if your pot has been with PensionBee for less than a year and you wish to withdraw it in full, then a withdrawal fee of £480 applies.

Revenue made from the annual management fee is split between your money manager BlackRock, State Street or Legal & General and PensionBee.

Your money manager gets 25% of the revenue, and the rest goes to PensionBee who use this to cover the costs of transferring, contributions, onboarding, reporting, withdrawals and all regulatory obligations.

Is PensionBee authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority?

Yes, PensionBee is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 744931). You can see this in the FCA’s register.

Prior to August 2016, PensionBee was regulated as an appointed representative (FRN: 710821). The sponsoring firm is no longer in operation.

What would happen to my pension if PensionBee ceased to exist?

PensionBee does not manage money. Our plans are provided by the world’s largest investment managers who would continue to invest your pension if we ceased to exist. Additionally, your pension is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for 100% of the value should one of the money managers fail.

Does PensionBee give advice?

No, we do not provide financial advice. At PensionBee, our mission is to empower customers to make the best financial decisions for them. You can get pension advice from several places, and we’ve listed some of them here.

Does PensionBee have an App?

Yes we do! Our mobile app is available for existing customers in the iTunes and Google Play stores, and you can use it to access your real time pension balance with PensionBee - without needing to log into the BeeHive through a web browser.

Other questions

Can I transfer a public service pension (NHS, police force, army, etc)?

The government doesn’t allow the transfer of unfunded government schemes, including those of the NHS, teachers, the army, the civil service, police, fire-fighters and also most local government pensions.

Can I transfer an international pension to PensionBee?

Unfortunately we cannot transfer any international pensions to PensionBee.

Can I transfer a defined benefit pension to PensionBee?

If your old pension has guarantees, such as guaranteed annuity rates or a final salary promise, we will send you the full paperwork to review before we transfer it.

If you have a pension with guaranteed benefits over £30,000, you are required to take financial advice from a transfer specialist before you transfer it. PensionBee does not provide financial advice and you will need to find an adviser.

Can I transfer a pension that I am already accessing?

Yes, you can transfer pensions that are already in drawdown.

What will happen to my PensionBee pension if I move abroad?

You now have the choice of what you’d like to do with your pension if you move abroad.

This means you can choose to leave your pension where it is, and you can even continue to pay into your UK pension plan. There may be a limit to the amount of tax relief you can claim though, so you should look into this more if you are thinking of continuing payments.

Alternatively, you may be able to transfer your pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). PensionBee does not transfer to any QROPS schemes and you will need to transfer out to another provider who can facilitate this transfer for you.

What will happen to my PensionBee pension if I die?

If you die before the age of 75 without having accessed your pension, your pension will pass to your beneficiaries, usually without inheritance tax deductions. You can set up your PensionBee beneficiaries in the BeeHive.

You can read more about what happens in the Key Features document.

Does PensionBee take clients with US tax/FATCA reporting requirements?

PensionBee is an active Non-Financial Foreign Entity as we do not hold client money. There is an agreement between the UK and the US that there is no reporting requirement for HMRC-registered pension schemes that are generally exempt from income tax and established to provide an income in retirement. The contracts with the investment managers are directly with PensionBee and not with the customers, therefore the investment managers also do not need to report on US end-clients.

Have a question? Call our UK team 020 3457 8444

Have a question?

Call our UK team

020 3457 8444

Monday-Wednesday 9:30am-6pm, Thursday-Friday 9:30am-5pm

Monday-Wednesday 9:30am-6pm
Thursday-Friday 9:30am-5pm