Update: PensionBee pensions are now also available, through the Starling Business Marketplace, to the owners of limited companies.

PensionBee has recently launched a new product, enabling self-employed savers to set up a pension from scratch. It’s an offering that can work well for sole traders, which is why we’ve added PensionBee to our Business Marketplace, the space in the app where customers can link to third-party products and services.

PensionBee has been available to Starling personal customers since 2018. Our new integration is for sole traders, including for people who have never had a pension before. Connecting to PensionBee through the Starling app is simple and only takes a few minutes.

Both self-employed and personal customers have the option to combine existing pensions into one new online plan, managed by PensionBee. Before taking any such financial decisions, it’s important to be confident that you fully understand all the implications and fees, and if you have any questions, you should consult a financial adviser or pensions transfer specialist.

What are the benefits?

A key benefit for Starling customers who set up a pension with PensionBee is the visibility you have over your balance. Once your Starling account and PensionBee account have been linked, you’ll be able to check your pension balance from the Starling app.

You’ll also be able to see a list of previous transactions, outlining the value of recent contributions. There are no minimum contribution amounts with PensionBee, you can add to your pension whenever your income allows.

Remember that with investments, your capital is at risk. This means that the value of your pension can go down or up, so you could get back less than you invested.

How much does PensionBee cost?

There are no fees to sign up or move a pension to PensionBee. When you’re up and running, you only pay one all-in fee ranging from 0.50% to 0.95%, depending on the plan you choose, with 50% off on the portion of your pension over £100,000.

There are no monthly account fees for the Starling sole trader account itself. Subject to eligibility, you can apply for a sole trader account through the app in just a few minutes.

How does PensionBee invest my contributions?

PensionBee offers nine plans, each designed to suit different saving needs and priorities. For example, with their Tailored plan, money is moved into safer investments as you get older. They also have the Future World plan, which invests money into companies that pledge to move to an environmentally-friendly economy, and the Fossil Fuel Free plan, which excludes investment in the tobacco or arms industries, or in companies that own proven or probable reserves in coal, oil or gas.

How does PensionBee benefit sole traders?

Executive coach Rebecca Morley, 41, joined PensionBee two years ago. “From previous roles with corporate companies, I had four separate pensions. When I became self-employed, I knew that I needed to set up a fifth and I wanted a place to consolidate all those old pensions. The amount of paperwork I received from four pension providers felt really overwhelming and I wanted to be able to keep track of everything in one place,” she says. “PensionBee has made it much simpler and easier.”

As a sole trader, Rebecca can now link her PensionBee account to her Starling sole trader account and check her pension balance directly from the Starling app.

Rebecca Morley, executive coach

She became a Starling customer in 2019 after looking for an alternative business account. “When I read Starling’s story, it felt like a FinTech with real credibility.”

Since the start of the pandemic, a key focus for Rebecca has been remote leadership. For everyone working from home, her advice is to develop a routine: “Make a virtual commute by going for a walk and getting a takeaway coffee or do some stretches and five minutes of journaling to start the day. Then at the end of the day, list three things that have gone well and outline what you need to do tomorrow. Create habits that can become parentheses for your working day.”

How do I link Starling and PensionBee?

To get started, Starling sole traders can go to the Business Marketplace and find ‘PensionBee’ under our pensions category. If you’re a personal customer, visit the Personal Finance Marketplace. As of 17 January 2022 PensionBee pensions are also available to the owners of limited companies through the Starling Business Marketplace.

If you’re new to PensionBee, you’ll be guided through the steps to either set up a brand new pension or consolidate your old pensions by transferring them into a new plan. If you already have a pension with PensionBee, you can simply login and in minutes, you’ll be able to see your pension balance from within the Starling app.

Important: With investments, your capital is at risk. Pensions can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest.

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