Online pension provider PensionBee is making it easier for the non-traditional workforce to save for their later years. That’s because the U.K.-based company is launching a new product designed for self-employed users.
The product will enable new users to set up a new pension in minutes. The new offering also provides a flexible contributions plan so that savers can adjust their pension contribution amounts as their income fluctuates, with no minimum contribution required.
The self-employed pension product is available to sole traders and directors of companies without an existing workplace or private pension. Users have nine investment options, including the PensionBee’s Fossil Fuel Free Plan which completely excludes fossil fuel producers and persistent violators of the UN Global Compact.
One of PensionBee’s differentiating factors is its fee structure. Instead of charging users a range of fees, the company has a more simplified fee structure that charges just one annual fee. This “all-in” fee ranges from 0.50% to 0.95%, depending on the plan. And, to encourage higher balances, PensionBee offers users 50% off their fee for any portion of their savings that exceeds £100,000.
Prompting the release of the self-employed product is the increase in self-employed workers combined with a decline in consumer savings. According to a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the number of self-employed workers has grown over the past two decades while the proportion saving into a private pension has fallen from 48% in 1998 to 16% in 2018. Another study from Nest found that only 24% of self-employed workers are saving into a pension.
“Without the benefits of auto-enrollment, the self-employed are at a significant disadvantage and need access to simple and flexible products urgently if they are to avoid a shortfall in later life,” said PensionBee CEO Romi Savova. “In the absence of old workplace pensions to provide a head start, we know that the thought of saving from nothing can be daunting for many self-employed consumers, which is why we’ve made it as easy as possible for them to open a pension and put money aside whenever their business allows.”
“The self-employed currently make up 20% of the PensionBee customer base, so we know their needs well and are committed to helping many more self-employed consumers plan for a happy retirement and achieve better financial outcomes.”
Savova founded PensionBee in 2014 along with his co-founder, Jonathan Lister. The company has closed three rounds of funding; the amounts of each round are undisclosed.