Penfold review

We look into the new service that's looking to simplify pensions for the self-employed.

Updated

Fact checked
Picture not described

There are 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK, which is close to 15% of the workforce. However, out of this large number of people, only 14% of self-employed individuals are saving regularly in a pension. For many, the prospect of setting up a pension when they’re self-employed can seem complicated.

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 specifically with freelancers and self-employed people in mind, and it offers flexibility and ease of use to its customers. While still in beta mode, it is expected to fully launch this year.

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 0.75% of a customer’s total pension balance. 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:

  • A low minimum contribution of only £10 a month.
  • 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.

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 as much information about their previous employment and pension to Penfold, which will then go through to find your other existing pensions.

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 BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, 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. And while still in beta mode, it’s definitely a service that we will be looking to see develop further and expand. 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 indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Annual fee Brand description
Moneyfarm Pension
£1,500 (initial investment)
7 funds
0.35%-0.75%
Moneyfarm has pensions that are matched against your risk appetite, goals and planned retirement date. Capital at risk.
PensionBee Pension
No minimum
7 funds
0.5% - 0.95%
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
0-0.45%
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got three different retirement options. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor Pension
Any lump sum or £25 a month
Over 3,000 funds
£10/month
interactive investor is a flat-fee platform, which makes it cost effective for larger portfolios. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets Pension
Saxo Markets Pension
£10
Over 11,000 funds
No annual fee
Saxo Markets gives flexibility and control over your investment strategy. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Pension
£1,000
Over 2,000 funds
0.05-0.25%
AJ Bell has two different pension options, a self managed pension and one that is managed for you. Capital at risk.
Moneybox Pension
£1
3 funds
0.15% - 0.45% charged monthly
Manage your money with an easy-to-use Moneybox app. Capital at risk.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
Fineco
£2.95
£2.95
Zero platform fee
Fineco Bank is good for share traders and investors looking for a complete platform and wide offer. Your first 50 trades are free with Fineco, until 30/09/2020. T&Cs apply. Capital at risk.
IG
0% commission on US shares, and £3 on UK shares
From £5
£0 - £24 per quarter
IG is good for experienced traders, and offers learning resources for beginners, all with wide access to shares, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
£11.95
£5.95
No fees
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's number one platform for private investors, with the depth of features you'd expect from an established platform. Capital at risk.
eToro Free Stocks
0% commission, no markup, no ticket fee, no management fee
N/A
Withdrawal fee & GDP to USD deposit conversion
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply.
Interactive Investor
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
No transfer fees or exit fees. £9.99 a month on the Investor Service Plan
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
£1500
0.75%
£0
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.45%
£11.95
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor stocks and shares ISA
Any lump sum or £25 a month
£119.88
£7.99
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
0.12%
£8.00
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell stocks and shares ISA
£500
0.25%
£9.95
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Fidelity stocks and shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
0.35%
£10.00
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.75%
£0
Nutmeg offers three types of portfolios. Choose the one that goes with your investment style. Capital at risk.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

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. Capital is at risk.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site