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Step 2: Choose the firm (‘platform’) where you will hold your amalgamated pension pot

You have now decided, after reading the first two parts of Step 1, which of your pension pots you wish to keep as they are and which you wish to transfer into a single place.

Before you can ask the firms that hold your old pension plans to transfer the money to one amalgamated pot, you need to choose the firm where that amalgamated pot will be held and open a new account with that firm.

These firms are known by a wide variety of names: you may see them referred to as investment platforms, fund shops, fund supermarkets, or SIPP firms – a SIPP being a self-invested personal pension. We have chosen to use the term platform on this website.

SIPP is a key term if you are going to run your own pension along the lines described on this site. The new account you open for your amalgamated pot will almost certainly be called a SIPP.

Time spent choosing the right SIPP platform will be well rewarded later: if you are drawing income in retirement for 20 or 30 years, even small differences in costs will begin to add up to a sizeable sum. You will also be interacting with your chosen firm fairly frequently, so you want one that is efficient and which offers good customer service.

And you want a firm that will stay the course: the danger of a very cheap firm is that it may not be a sustainable business and it may be forced to put up its prices or sell out to a competitor. These scenarios could mean you paying more and reopen the question of whether you are with the right platform, which is something you would ideally want to avoid.

In summary: you are looking for a reputable, reliable and stable firm, with low fees and costs, and an excellent record for customer service.

How can you identify the ideal platform for you? We are offering two options. The first involves us, the authors, doing most of the work and suggesting a specific platform for you. The second involves you, the reader, undertaking your own research and deciding for yourself which platform is best. This will take longer, but will give you the reassurance that no shortcuts have been taken and that you really have identified the best choice.

◆ Method 1: Using the platform that we have chosen

◆ Method 2: Conduct your own thorough research into finding the best platform

It’s also worth reading this: 

◆ ‘I have accounts with 28 pension platforms – these six are the best’ – review of the most popular firms by Holly Mackay of Boring Money



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