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, calculator 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. 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 an annual management fee depending on which plan you choose, ranging from 0.5% to 0.7% of your pension. This fee includes everything, from using the BeeHive, to transferring more pensions and contributions. It also includes the underlying fund fees paid to the money managers who manage your money.

The average cost of a UK pension is 0.8% annually, so we’ve priced our pensions competitively. It’s common for other pension providers to hide fees in small print and footnotes, so the headline annual management fee for your old pension may not represent the total amount you’re being charged. If you speak to your provider about how much you’re paying, be sure to ask about all fees, as sometimes there are hidden fees. This includes management fees, fund fees, administrative fees and commissions.

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 need to leave some behind so that your old pension will 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 choose to transfer part of your active pension to PensionBee, and leave a portion of your active pension where it is to continue receiving employer contributions. Let us know if you’d like to do this.

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. You can also cancel free of charge for 30 days after the transfer, so we will send your pension back to your former provider, 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 us 25 days 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.

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 three plans currently available. Each plan also has a link to a plan factsheet as well as a helpful video from each money manager.

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

As with all pensions, your capital is at risk.

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.

Can I change my plan for free?

Yes, you can change your plan for free at any time through the BeeHive or by emailing your BeeKeeper.

Is my pension protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?

Yes. PensionBee pensions are protected by the FSCS for 100% of your pension as assessed and accepted by the FSCS (without upper limit). You can find more details in our Terms.

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. Once you fill in the form, you then have to go to your bank to make the payment and/or set up the standing order.

How long does it take?

After you fill in the online form, your contribution will show up as ‘pending’ in your history tab. You then have to make the payment via your bank. It typically takes two working days for your contribution to update to ‘money received’ in your history tab.

Within the next seven days your money will be invested into your pension. At this point your contribution will update to ‘live’ in your account and show up on your pension balance.

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 are minimum contribution amounts?

There are no minimum contribution amounts.

How do I amend or cancel my regular contribution?

If you want to cancel your regular contribution, you can do this within your BeeHive. If you want to amend the amount of your regular contribution, you must first cancel your existing contribution. This can be done via your BeeHive, and you will then need to set up a new one with the new amended amount.

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 sign up to PensionBee. We’ll put £50 in your friend’s pension, too.

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 transfer-in forms to jack@pensionbee.com. These forms are not always complete and we may need 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 other FCA-regulated personal pension companies on Origo Options within 10 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.

PensionBee is currently calling for a 10-day pension switch guarantee, which will create a safelist of providers who must use electronic transfers across the industry in order to reduce transfer times and costs for consumers and providers.

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 Data Protection Act 1998.

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. If you would like to find out more, please visit Companies House. Our registered Company Number is 09354862.

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. You can also see this in the FCA’s register.

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.

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?

Not yet, but our site is fully mobile optimised so that you are always able to access PensionBee and manage your pension from your phone. We test our site on a range of devices, including iPhones and Androids, so it should work well no matter which type of smartphone you’re using.

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 at this stage.

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?

Unfortunately we cannot transfer any pensions in payment at this stage.

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).

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, 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.

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