Comparing SIPP charges
Making sure you compare SIPP charges between providers could mean considerable savings during the lifetime of a pension, but the wide range of fees that may be charged means it’s not always an easy task. Here are some of the main charges to be aware of:
Annual management fees - can be either a fixed charge or calculated as a percentage of your pension fund, and will be taken each year.
Investment fees - similar to annual management fees above but these will be the ongoing fees that relate to the specific investment held within your SIPP.
Dealing charges - are levied when you buy or sell investments, and will generally depend on how many - and the type of - transactions you make.
Exit fees - choose to transfer your SIPP elsewhere and your current SIPP provider may charge you for the privilege of selling your investments and the admin involved.
Drawdown fees - to withdraw funds from your SIPP when it’s time to retire you can often expect to pay fees to set up a drawdown arrangement and ongoing charges going forward.
Crucially, you’ll want to find a SIPP provider whose charges align best with your SIPP pension needs, as you only want to be paying fees on the services that you intend to use. For instance, full SIPP providers tend to charge higher fees in general and justify this by pointing to the greater levels of expertise, service and administration involved with managing the more specialist investment options that they offer. So if you’re not planning to invest in commercial property or unquoted shares, for example, you probably don’t need to pay the premium usually attached to a full SIPP, when a low cost SIPP is likely to offer all the investment options suitable to you.