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I am in my late twenties, live in the UK, and have recently started doing contract work in my own right for the first time. Since this means that I am now self-employed, I am obviously not paying into a company pension scheme.

I am aware that it would be sensible to put aside a certain amount of what I bill my client for each month to pay into a pension, but I have no idea what options are available to me to make the most of this as someone who is self- employed.

I currently have two pension schemes that are open, although I am not currently paying into either of them. They were both opened through previous employers, where I joined their company pension scheme.

Now that I am self employed, would it be best to start paying into one of, or both of these pension schemes that I currently have open (although obviously, I won't be getting the employer contributions that I was getting when previously employed by those companies), or would it be best to open a new pension scheme?

If it would be best to open a new one, where would people recommend I research what one to open? What are the things to look for in a good pension scheme?

With regard to the two that I currently have open, but am not paying into- they are with different providers, and are both invested in the stock market, so I am aware that their values will fluctuate with the market. Would it be best to close one of them, and pay it's value into the other, or to keep both of them open? Should I start paying into either of them now that I am self employed, or should I close them, and move their balances to a new provider when I choose which one to go with for myself?

What advice would you give to someone in my situation, who wants to make the most sensible choices about their finances?

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    This is a pretty broad question and a lot more detail is needed. For starters: do either of the schemes actually accept new contributions or transfers-in now you've left the associated jobs? What do they charge? Roughly how much do you have so far, how much will you be paying in, what sorts of investments might you want to make? – Ganesh Sittampalam Nov 30 '16 at 22:37
  • Have you considered a lifetime ISA? unbiased.co.uk/news/lifetime-isa-vs-pension-the-showdown/5257 – Stephen Dec 1 '16 at 9:39
  • I don't actually know whether either of the schemes will accept new contributions or transfers- I hadn't thought that they might not. I guess I will have to check. I have a couple of k's in each- I wasn't in either job for all that long as they were fixed term contracts. I don't really know what sorts of investments I might want to make- that's one of the things I'm looking for advice on... – Noble-Surfer Dec 1 '16 at 16:18
  • I don't know the details for self employed; if you have a limited liability company and you are the director then you can pay I think £25,000 a year into a director's pension fund, tax free (no income tax, and no company tax). – gnasher729 Dec 1 '16 at 21:52
  • Setting up an LLC is something that I am looking into- but it seems that this may not be the best course of action for me given how much I am earning pre-tax... By the sounds of it I'd need to be earning a bit more to make this financially worthwhile...? – Noble-Surfer Dec 2 '16 at 12:09

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