Chances are you will need to pay into a personal pension plan for several years in order to build up a healthy pension pot which can then be used to generate an income throughout your retirement.

As a result taking the time to compare your options and find out what is the best personal pension plan for you financial circumstances is essential. Here's what you need to consider.

What type of personal pension meets your needs?

Before you undertake any personal pension plan comparison, it makes sense to narrow your options by deciding on the type of pension plan that best suits your finances.

Essentially this involves deciding where you want your money to be invested and how much control you want over the day to day running of your pension fund.

SIPP self invested personal pension plans allow you greater control over where you invest your savings and may be cheaper than traditional managed pension funds.

However, unless you feel confident selecting where your money is invested you may decide that managed personal pension plans accounts are a better option.

Check each pension's track record

The main factor that will determine the size of your personal pension fund when you retire, and ultimately how successful your personal pension is in building your retirement income, is the performance of the fund.

While a previous year's performance is no guarantee of future success, checking the long term track record of UK personal pension schemes before you invest is a good way to get an idea of how they perform compared to their rivals.

Check each account's profits and losses over several years and compare them with both the performance of their rivals and in the context of the economic climate as a whole to get a better picture of each option.

Check the fees

As with any type of pension plan, the costs of different UK personal pension schemes can vary significantly from account to account.

Once you know the type of personal pension you are looking for you need to compare the fees each account will charge and invest in the fund with the most attractive package of strong performance and low fees as a whole.

You can compare personal pensions side by side using our personal pension plan comparison table.