Penfold launches digital pensions aimed at the self-employed

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 10 October 2019

Savings and Investment

86% of self-employed workers don’t currently save into a pension, Penfold is on a mission to change that.

Penfold launches digital pensions aimed at the self-employed
Image source: Penfold Co-Founders Pete Hykin, Stuart Robinson and Chris Eastwood.

Penfold, a digital pension scheme built specifically for freelancers and runner-up at AltFi’s Fintech Pitch Off Competition at the AltFi London Summit 2019, launched today.

The startup is focused on helping self-employed workers start a pension in just a few minutes, and then works around educating and supporting customers who might not have additional employer-supported pension schemes.

“We’re aiming to make pensions not just easier, but more attractive for self-employed people to start planning for later in life,” says Pete Hykin, Penfold’s Co-Founder.

A growing number of people are self-employed, with UK figures pegging the number at 15% or 5m people and rising, and of those 86% don’t currently save into a pension.

Hykin’s argument is that while auto-enrollment has triggered a wave of signups among the employed, the self-employed are being left behind.

“It’s almost like the self-employed, who we know are the backbone of the economy, are being ignored by the government and UK industry,” he says. 

“There are absolutely no pension options out there which adequately serves those working for themselves.”

Penfold was founded by Hykin, Stuart Robinson and Chris Eastwood in May 2018 and has raised £2.4m in backing from angel investors and London VC Force Over Mass. In May 2019 Penfold was granted FCA authorisation.

In Penfold’s beta the company charged 0.75% of your total balance, equivalent to a similar pension held with Nutmeg or Pensionbee, and operates a similar pension plan scheme with Blackrock as its sole fund provider.

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