Barclays Smart Investor Pension Review

as of 09/03/2021 at 11:12 am

Our View

Clear information and recently improved user journeys. Barclays’ customers will likely value the familiarity of investing with a brand they know. Although not the most obvious choice for pensions, this could be a decent ‘all in one place’ option for those with current accounts or ISAs here. Those in drawdown should be alert to the list of charges for taking money out.

Our Pension Rating

Recommended For

Beginner Investor

Confident Investor

In a nutshell

Access from online banking

Good research & tools

Pricey for small portfolios

You Say

Your overall rating

Based on 102 reviews

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What to Expect

Investment Choice

Products

Stocks and Shares ISA

Investment Account

Pension

Investments available

Own brand funds

Funds from other groups

Stocks and shares

Ethical investments

Investment help

Robo advice / ready-made portfolios

Includes a shortlist of investments

Pick your own funds

Pick your own shares

Drawdown

We do not currently have sufficient feedback from investors on the drawdown experience to review the service for those in retirement. Please help us by leaving your review.

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The 'Geeky' Details

Provider details

Barclays Smart Investor is the investment service from the high street bank. There are loads of investment options, including funds from Barclays and other groups, and you can buy and sell company shares. It offers a good blend of research, which is equally strong across both funds and shares/listed securities.

For novice investors, the ‘Barclays Ready-made Investments’ give you an all-in-one portfolio, spreading your money around many different investments in one go.

There’s a slightly complex set of charges. A £4 minimum monthly account fee means there are cheaper options available for those with very small portfolios. There is also a £3 fund dealing charge, so it can be an expensive option for those that regularly invest small amounts into multiple funds.

Barclays outsources its SIPP administration to AJ Bell, who charge a £150 annual admin fee. Additional charges for those approaching retirement include a £120 p.a. flexi-access drawdown administration fee, a £90 fee for setting up either UFPLS or flexi-access drawdown and paying any lump sum benefits, and a £30 fee for a one-off income payment.

It is also worth noting that there is a £90 charge for both transferring in and transferring out a pension to/from Barclays and a £90 SIPP closure charge (rising to £300 if the account has been open for less than a year).

Important Facts & Figures

Provider Size:

Large banking and investment firm / huge global brand

Minimum amounts: £1000 minimum lump sum payment

Your Questions

"I am a beginner investor and would like to invest in a "socially responsible" Stocks & Shares ISA. I have looked into the Nutmeg and Wealthify funds, having found out about them through the Money Saving Expert website. Is there information about any other such providers on your website? And do you have any advice about how to compare the "socially responsible" criteria on the different funds?"

Joy, Glamorgan

16/04/2019

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