the providers that charge the most – and the least – in 2023

Chris Bredin, from consultancy the Lang Cat, said: “When choosing a platform to invest with, it is crucial for investors to understand how their trading activities affect the fees they pay.

“Not all brokers charge fees for trading funds, but where they do, fees can add up quickly and hurt your returns, so it’s important to keep this in mind when making a choice.”

Weekly trader

Savers who regularly adjust their portfolio tend to have the highest costs, as many platforms charge for each transaction made in a Sipp.

Figures compiled by the Lang Cat showed that a saver with a pension of £100,000, equivalent to one transaction a week – buying or selling a fund – would be charged £250 a year by Close Brothers self-directed service , the cheapest of the companies surveyed.

For larger pension pots, a £250,000 saver would be best served with Interactive Investor, where the fee would be £467 per annum. The same fee would be charged by Interactive Investor for pots of £500,000 or more as the broker has a flat monthly fee of £12.99 for its Sipp only customersregardless of the size of their portfolio. Individual transactions cost £5.99 each time.

However, this flat-rate structure can make Interactive Investor more expensive than competing brokers for smaller portfolios. For a £25,000 pension, Fidelity would be the best value broker, charging this client £90 a year.

Monthly tweaker

Instead of making weekly changes to their Sipp, customers can choose to limit their transactions to once a month.

For clients in this category, the best provider for those with a £100,000, £250,000 or £500,000 nest egg is Interactive Investor, said the Lang Cat. The broker’s monthly fee again makes it the cheapest option for those with larger portfolios. A client who trades once a month typically spends £228 per year with Interactive Investor.

A customer with a £25,000 pension pot making one transaction per month would also be charged £228 by Interactive Investor. While the same saver using rival broker AJ Bell would have to pay £81 a year given that firm’s percentage-based fees.

Set and forget

For savers who make minimal changes to their investment portfolio and limit their number of transactions to four per year, equivalent to one per quarter, the impact of trading costs is much smaller. Instead, it is the platform fees that typically account for most of the saver’s spending.

Sipp clients with portfolios of £100,000, £250,000 or £500,000 are best served with Interactive Investor. The monthly fee of £12.99 and the transaction fee of £5.99 would result in an annual fee of £180. For those with a smaller nest egg of £25,000, the best value provider would be AJ Bell, who have a total of £180. would charge 69 per year.