Pensions  

Flexible pension for self-employed launches

Flexible pension for self-employed launches
 Romi Savova, founder and chief executive of PensionBee

Online provider PensionBee has launched a flexible product for self-employed savers, enabling them to start a pension with no minimum contributions.

Self-employed individuals are able to sign up to the provider’s pension for free and are able to pay contributions based on their income with no minimum saving amounts.

The pension is available exclusively to sole traders and directors of limited companies without an existing workplace or private pension to consolidate.

According to the provider, one-off or regular contributions via bank transfer or direct debit can be set up online or via the PensionBee app.

These payments can also be made from personal or business bank accounts, as a sole trader or a limited company respectively.

Savers are able to choose from nine investment options, including the new Fossil Fuel Free plan.

All-in fees range from 0.50 per cent to 0.95 per cent, depending on the plan chosen, with 50 per cent off for the portion of savings over £100,000.

Romi Savova, chief executive officer of PensionBee, said the product helped provide support to “a growing proportion of the UK workforce who have long been underserved by the pensions industry”. 

Ms Savova said: “Without the benefits of auto-enrolment, 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. 

“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.”

She added that the self-employed currently make up 20 per cent of the PensionBee customer base so the firm was “committed to helping many more self-employed consumers plan for a happy retirement and achieve better financial outcomes”.

The launch follows recent analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies which showed that while the number of self-employed workers has grown rapidly over the past two decades, the proportion saving into a private pension has fallen dramatically, from 48 per cent in 1998 to just 16 per cent in 2018. 

In comparison nearly 80 per cent of working-age employees were contributing to a pension in 2018 due to the introduction of auto-enrolment. 

Last year (November 16), reports emerged that PensionBee was looking to float on the London Stock Exchange in a move which will see it valued at £300m or more.

amy.austin@ft.com

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