Penfold review

We've listed some of the features of the service that's looking to simplify pensions for the self-employed.


Penfold, the pension for the self-employed

  • Flexible payments, pause alter & top up whenever
  • Combine your old pension pots for free, in one click
  • Get 25% tax relief bonus: £25 for every £100 you contribute
  • Protected by the FSCS
  • Capital is at risk. Pension & tax rules apply

There are 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK, which is close to 15% of the workforce. But only 14% of them are saving regularly in a pension. For many, the prospect of setting up a pension when they’re self-employed can seem complicated. Penfold aims to change this by making it easy to invest into your future. See what we thought about Penfold, how it works, how much it costs and some of its benefits.

Penfold is here to change that by providing easy to set up digital pensions catered specifically to self-employed people.

What is Penfold?

Penfold is a digital pension platform, aiming to make the process of setting up a pension simple and easy. Serving as a digital alternative to traditional pension programs, Penfold allows users to set, manage and keep track of their pensions without any real hassle. The service is made for self-employed people, freelancers, sole traders, company directors, and it offers flexibility and ease of use to its customers.

How does Penfold work?

Setting up a Penfold pension is easy and takes only a few minutes to set up online. Registration takes very little time, and all you need is the following documentation:

  • UK ID
  • National insurance number
  • UK bank account
  • Proof of address and tax-payer status

Penfold fees and charges

Penfold customers are charged a single annual fee to maintain their account. Its website lists this fee as being either 0.75% or 0.88% of a customer’s total pension balance, depending on which investment option you chose. Besides this annual fee, there is no additional charge for pausing, stopping or consolidating pension pots.

It has also eliminated drawdown fees, so anyone aged 55 or over who decides to take money out of their Penfold pension won’t be charged for accessing their funds. Plus, there are no transfer fees for customers who want to move their existing pension over to Penfold.

Penfold’s benefits

Penfold offers its customers a variety of benefits and features that include the following:

  • No minimum monthly contributions.
  • Allows users to deposit lump-sum amounts into their pensions.
  • Like any other pension plan, customer contributions are eligible for tax relief.
  • Allows making pension deposits through personal contributions, which comes with a 25% government tax top-up.
  • Customers can pay into their Penfold pension from a limited company.
  • A £25 promotional bonus upon making your first Pension deposit, if you sign up through this link here.

Can I transfer an existing pension to Penfold?

Yes, you can transfer an existing pension to Penfold. The company offers a free “find & combine” feature that allows the company to look for customers’ other pensions and consolidate them all under the Penfold pension. All customers need to do is provide a name, reference & estimated amount of their previous pension and Penfold will track it down and combine it to your Penfold pension.

Is Penfold safe?

Founded in 2018, Penfold became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in June of 2019. This means that the company is subject to a wide range of controls and procedures that are approved by the UK’s financial regulator to keep your pension safe and secure.

Along with approval from a regulatory body, Penfold also partners with Seccl Custody Limited as its custodians for managing payments and added security. With the company specialising in providing financial advisers, wealth managers and fintech firms with fast and flexible solutions for managing clients’ money, you can rest assured that your money will be kept secure.

Along with this, Penfold itself does not manage money. So when you add money into your Penfold pension, it is invested in a special plan provided by either BlackRock or HSBC, which will continue to invest your pension even if Penfold itself ceases to exist.

Given these added measures, customers can be sure that their pensions will be secure with Penfold even though it isn’t a traditional pension service.

The verdict

Penfold seems like it will help fill a gap in the market by offering an easy-to-use digital pension option to the self-employed that allows them to set up a basic pension plan. Penfold is definitely a service that has grown extensively in the past year, and we are looking forward to see it develop even further. If you’re self-employed, Penfold could well worth be looking into and signing up for.

Compare alternatives to Penfold

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Data updated regularly
Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Fee for a £50,000 pension pot Brand description
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Moneyfarm Pension
£1,500 (initial investment)
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AJ Bell Pension
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Annual fee: £125, includes fund fees
AJ Bell has two different pension options, a self managed pension and one that is managed for you. Capital at risk.
PensionBee Pension
No minimum
9 funds
Annual fee: £250-475, includes fund fees
Pension Bee is a newbie in the pension market. It helps consolidate your pension plans into one place. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown Pension
£100 or £25 a month
2,500 funds
Annual fee: £225 (£200 cap if holding shares), fund fees included
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Saxo Markets Pension
Saxo Markets Pension
Over 11,000 funds
No annual fee
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No minimum
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Annual fee: £375-455, fund fees included
Moneybox Pension
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Annual fee: £225, fund fee: £60
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Data updated regularly
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
UK: £2.95
US: $3.95
EU: €3.95
Your first 100 trades are free with Fineco (T&Cs apply)
Fineco Bank is good for share traders and investors looking for a complete platform and wide offer. The minimum deposit with Fineco is £0. Capital at risk.
eToro Free Stocks
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply. The minimum deposit with eToro is $200.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's number one platform for private investors, with the depth of features you'd expect from an established platform. The minimum deposit with HL is £1. Capital at risk.
Degiro Share Dealing
UK: £1.75 + 0.014% (max £5)
US: €0.50 + $0.004 per share
Degiro is widely seen as one of the best low-cost share brokers, for people who are looking to trade regularly. The minimum deposit with Degiro is £0. Capital at risk.
interactive investor Trading Account
£7.99 (with one free trade per month)
£9.99 per month
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. The minimum deposit with ii is £0. Capital at risk.

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Data updated regularly
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Moneybox stocks and shares ISA
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Moneybox offers a smart and simple way to invest. Sign up in minutes and start investing with £1 via their award-winning app. Capital at risk.
interactive investor stocks and shares ISA
Any lump sum or £25 a month
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Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
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Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
InvestEngine stocks and shares ISA
Offer - £50 welcome bonus for new customers. Subject to minimum investment. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
Moneyfarm helps you meet your investment goals with fully-managed portfolios designed around you. Capital at risk.
Fidelity Stocks and Shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £20 a month
Legal & General is a big financial services company which offers insurance, lifetime mortgage, pensions and stocks and shares ISAs. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Stocks and Shares ISA
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.

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All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

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