Pensions. For most of us who have grown up in the internet age that word triggers images of the old lady in front of us at the Post Office waiting to collect her living allowance for the week. We don’t think about it and just assume that, in many years, we’ll be that elderly person in the Post Office. Chances are that we won’t, the likelihood that any of us will be collecting a state pension when we retire are decreasing, so looking into a private pension is now the best option – but they can be difficult things to take control of. Even changing who you save with can be an obstacle course of fees, forms and interrogations, according to research conducted by PensionBee.
In an age where you can send a payment to a relative who lives 400 miles away within seconds it’s hard to believe that it takes, on average, 17 days to switch your pension provider with some of the big names taking up to 59 days. It doesn’t need to take that long, in Australia they impose a three-day maximum transfer time on all companies – if they can do it then why can’t the UK?
If transfer waiting times weren’t bad enough, pension companies can take a rather large chunk off your hard-saved money as an exit fee. The highest fee that PensionBee’s research discovered was a ridiculous 35% of the total amount being moved.
Then there are the forms and interrogation you go through. One customer was asked to provide all the information about her switch, who had advised her on her switch (including their details) and what other investments they planned to switch – assuming this customer didn’t know how to manage her own money. Hard to read forms often make it difficult to provide all the information the company needs to make the switch, delaying the whole process.
Couple that with companies who don’t return calls and other obstacles that are thrown in customer’s paths, it’s no wonder most people will just leave their money where it is – even if they could be better off with another plan.
PensionBee are on a mission to change this. They are calling for a 10-day maximum transfer time and to scrap exit fees on pensions – at the end of the day, the pension companies already charge an annual rate so they’ve made their money.
PensionBee offers a range of plans aimed at condensing all your existing pension plans into one, manageable online plan while paying a lower than market-average fee. They aim to show customers that they can put their trust in pension providers, and are intent on revolutionising the pension industry. As well as an extremely snazzy digital dashboard so you can see exactly how your money is doing with them, each customer gets their own dedicated account manager (or BeeKeeper). In an industry where things have been complex for far too long, PensionBee are determined to make things easy.