This is a blog about PensionBee. If you don’t think that retail pensions can ever provide value for money and you see Pension Bee as the “yellow peril”, click away. This blog celebrates PensionBee as it celebrates the Royal Mail CDC plan.
Both offer people more and better choices. They address different circumstances but the same fundamental need people have – to have financial security in retirement.
Still with me? – Thankyou!
PensionBee issued its Annual Report 2022, yesterday
Set against a backdrop of extreme global market volatility, a war in Europe, and a cost of living crisis in the UK, PensionBee is a story of resilience and consistent delivery, as evidenced by the key takeaways outlined below:
Impressive growth across all key metrics
With brand awareness of more than 50% achieved, PensionBee continued growing its customer base, reaching a total of 183,000 Invested Customers on its technology platform by the end of the year.
Amid steep declines in global equity and bond markets that have affected pension values across the country, its Assets under Administration surpassed the £3bn mark and revenue grew by 38%, as compared to the previous year, totalling £17.7m.
Ongoing profitability is in sight (having already achieved pre-marketing profitability in Q4 2022)
This continued growth, combined with the foundations of PensionBee’s scalable technology platform and disciplined cost control, enabled it to reach key profitability milestones of pre-marketing profitability across the fourth quarter of 2022 and post-marketing profitability in November 2022, in line with expectations.
PensionBee is primed to continue to deliver on this path, expecting to achieve ongoing full profitability on an Adjusted EBITDA basis by the end of 2023.
Effective and efficient deployment of a sizeable marketing budget
Customer acquisition continued to be a core pillar of PensionBee’s 2022 strategy as demonstrated in its ability to effectively and efficiently deploy a sizable marketing budget of £16.6m, despite the challenging macroeconomic environment.
Across the year, the majority of the marketing spend was deployed on the top three channels as expected – TV, Out of Home and Paid Search – with the majority of the brand investment made in the first half of the year, supporting lower-cost acquisition activities in the latter part of the year. The ‘Yellow Chair’ and ‘Believe in the Bee’ campaigns, which were rolled-out nationally across all channels, resonated with a wide target audience.
Another strong year of continuous product innovations
PensionBee’s product developments have helped to attract new customers and enable them to contribute more money into their pensions.
Innovations include further enhancing of drawdown features, to enable PensionBee to offer regular withdrawals to its customer base over the age of 55. Having launched the ‘Easy Bank Transfer’ in-app feature that enabled a rapid set up for both one-off and recurring pension contributions in 2021, PensionBee also expanded this product feature across the web estate to complement the in-app offering.
Focus on investment solutions designed for customers
PensionBee responded to customer demand for the UK’s first mainstream impact investing product, by working with the asset management industry across 2022, ultimately selecting BlackRock to partner with in the creation of the Impact Plan, which launched in early 2023.
This represents the latest in a series of PensionBee customer-led innovations for the UK pensions market. After many years of lobbying our asset managers, PensionBee secured proxy voting rights in respect of three of its investment plans, Tailored, Tracker and 4Plus, representing approximately 86% of the asset base. This means PensionBee can vote in line with its customers’ expectations from the 2023 proxy voting season onwards.
A median hourly gender pay gap of 0% across the company
Finally, PensionBee believes gender balance at all management levels will also reduce the UK’s gender pay and pension gaps. Therefore, it annually reports publicly on female representation and the gender pay gap at PensionBee.
For 2022, PensionBee achieved 52% female and minority gender representation across the entire employee base and a median hourly pay gap of 0% across the whole company. This gap was in line with PensionBee’s target of 0% with a variance of 5% above or below owing to the overall size of the employee base.
The non-workplace SIPP, of which PensionBee is a prime example of a product that provides savers with value for their money.
While it does not enjoy the economies of scale it will enjoy in future years, it has established a client base of enthusiastic savers who value the functionality offered by Pension Beekeepers who offer a quality of service that many “institutional” pensions can only aspire to.
People who transfer to Pension Bee and/or use it to accumulate further savings do so with full disclosure of the often higher charges in Pension Bee plans. But they can do so using innovative fund management that is in tune with the values of its savers and does not take undue risks with regards liquidity, private market valuations and speculative investments.
With Pension Bee , you get value for what you pay for and AgeWage is proud of its association with Pension Bee for whom we provide internal analytics and the opportunity for savers to compare VFM scores on their Pension Bee pots and pots they are considering moving to Pension Bee.
While the Government has yet to include non-workplace pensions in their Value for Money Framework, they are listening to its ideas for measuring quality of service. To my mind Pension Bee set new standards and are worth both the Government’s and your interest.
Where is that profitability in sight? @Henry
Growth rate has slowed down from 100% to 38%. The company revenue is £17 million, but it makes a loss, of more than that! Cash in the bank moved from £34 million to probably £17m, one more year to go until running out of money.
I expect it will stop advertising pretty soon, which will reduce the growth to next to nothing, at least conserve the cash. Share price is down by 50% from listing.
For me, it is more of a disaster to happen, some other pension provider to take over the assets, and cur cost. Phoenix Life is probably close! 🙂
Eugen. Pension Bee is listed on the London Stock Exchange , it is transparent in its dealings and it delivers an outstanding service. The report answers your question.
I did not comment about their service. To have a quality service, a firm needs to be well financially for the long term.
I commented about profitability, which is nowhere in sight. The firm burns money, like they go out of fashion. If they want to remain alive, it either needs to stop burning money (stop advertising) or raise more money (unlikely investors would put hands in the pockets again).
Or look for a buyer like Nutmeg did, which by the way is not even now profitable. But now it is JP Morgan’s problem!