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Costs and contributions

As a member of NEST you have one retirement pot that you can carry on contributing to throughout your working life.

You can see how much you’ve got in your retirement pot at any time by logging into your online account. You can also make additional contributions if you want to, either a one-off payment or arranging to contribute a little more on a regular basis.

How much can go into your pot?

You can contribute as much as you want, so long as everything that goes into your pot doesn’t go over NEST’s annual contribution limit of £4,900 a year. This figure is the limit for the 2016/17 tax year and includes any employer contributions and tax relief you get back from the government.

In April 2017 the limit will be removed completely. So when the time comes for minimum contributions to go up, there’ll be no restrictions on how much can go into a worker’s NEST pot.

We take a 1.8 per cent charge off contributions as they’re paid into your account. So the maximum amount that can end up in your retirement pot each year will actually be a bit less than the annual contribution limit.

If you do contribute over the limit, we’ll refund it or carry it over for you to use against your allowance in the next tax year. 

You can see how much has been contributed, and the charges taken off, at any time by logging into your online account.

How much are contributions?

If you’ve been automatically enrolled then there are minimum levels for you and your employer to pay into your account. These are based on a percentage of your pay.

Your employer may have decided to contribute more than the minimum. If they do they’ll let you know when they tell you you’re being enrolled.

Because auto enrolment’s being introduced gradually, minimum contributions are increasing gradually over the next few years. By April 2019, subject to parliamentary approval, the combined minimum contribution rate for qualifying earnings will have gone up to 8 per cent.

Date Minimum contribution How much comes out of your take home pay
From now 2 per cent 0.8 per cent
Between April 2018 and March 2019

5 per cent

2.4 per cent

From April 2019

8 per cent

4 per cent

A graphic illustrating how member contributions will change up until 2018

Calculate your contributions

You can work out what your contributions might be using the Workplace pension contribution calculator from the Money Advice Service.

Pension contribution calculator

How contributions are worked out

Find out how your employer may work out what makes up your minimum contributions and what you’ll pay into your pot.

See what makes up your contributions

Taking a break

You can take a break from paying contributions at any time if you want to.

You just need to log into your online account, go to 'Contributions' and then 'Contributions made by your employer'. Then click on the button 'Stop contributions'.

We’ll let your employer know that you want to stop making contributions so that they can stop taking money from your pay.

There is more information on how to stop contributions in the member help centre.

How much does NEST cost?

We take a small percentage of the money going into your pot known as a contribution charge. This amount is 1.8 per cent.

Suppose £25 is being added to your pot each month. Of this £25, we take a contribution charge of 45p.

We also take a small percentage off the value of your retirement pot over the year. This is known as an annual management charge. This amount is 0.3 per cent.

Suppose your total retirement pot is worth £5,000. This means we charge £15 over the year.

In this example, where £25 is paid every month and the total amount of money in your pot at the beginning of the year is £5,000, the total you’d pay in charges in this year would be £20.40.

A graphic showing an example of NEST's charges.

Log into your online account

By logging into your account you can check what's going into your retirement pot, make extra contributions and change the way your money’s being looked after.

Log in now

How we look after your money

Your contributions are invested in our NEST Retirement Date Funds. This means we can look after your money and try and make it grow for you.

Find out what happens to your money

Contribute on behalf of a NEST member

Anyone can contribute to someone else’s NEST retirement pot. They’ll just need to pay by debit card and tell us the NEST ID of the member.

Making a contribution

More about contributions

Most employers will look at your ‘qualifying earnings’ to work out your minimum contributions. For 2016/17 this is the money you earn over £5,824 and up to £43,000.

Find out more about what you'll contribute