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?