Think carefully about what you need, said Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown. “For instance, if you’re looking to make ad-hoc contributions rather than monthly ones then make sure your provider can facilitate this, and that you can hit any minimum contribution requirements.
“Investment choice is important too – if you’re an engaged investor, you may want a provider who can offer you a lot of choice. In this case a SIPP may be your best option. If you aren’t, then you may find you are better suited to a personal pension.
“Finally, check fees to ensure you’re not paying for things you don’t need – such as investment choices that you won’t use – so that you’re not unwittingly racking up costs.”
Now read: No pension pot? Here’s how you can (still) retire in style
The best pension providers for freelancers
With help from Fairer Finance analysis, we’ve picked the pension providers that are best suited to different types of freelance pension savers.
Best for those between employment and self-employment
The government-backed pension Nest is the pension provider of choice for many employers, meaning if you choose Nest as a freelancer, and occasionally switch back to employment and qualify for auto-enrolment – it may bring an added bonus of keeping your pension savings in the same place.
There is a price tag: you pay 1.8pc on your contributions, which means putting in £100 equates to £98.20 going into your fund. It would then be boosted by 20pc tax relief to become £122.75.
Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, said: “The charge means that Nest is very expensive for early contributions. That contribution charge as a percentage of your overall fund will naturally reduce over time as your pot grows, which is why it is deemed compliant with the 0.75pc auto-enrolment charge cap.”
Note that while lots of employers use Nest, plenty will use a different provider.
“It’s the employer who chooses the scheme they use for auto-enrolment, not the employee, so there’s no guarantee that choosing Nest while self-employed will reduce the number of pots you build up if you then go into employment,” Mr Selby added.