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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I log into my account? 

You can log into your NEST account at any time by clicking the ‘Login’ button at the top right of any page of our website.

The first time you log in we’ll ask you for your NEST ID and your National Insurance (NI) number. You can find your NEST ID in the letter we sent with your welcome pack. If you don’t have your NEST ID you can still log into your account with your NI number. Just click ‘I don’t have my NEST ID’ and follow the onscreen instructions. If your employer enrolled you using an alternative unique identifier instead of your NI number you’ll need to enter the alternative ID they used.

How do I see how much money is in my retirement pot? 

Click on ‘Retirement pot’ in your account to see a detailed fund breakdown.

How do I update my personal details? 

Go to ‘Edit profile’ in your account and click on ‘Edit personal details’.

How do I change my retirement date? 

Go to ‘Taking money out’ in your account and click on ‘Change NEST retirement date’. You can also do this in the ‘Edit personal details’ section of your account.

How do I switch funds? 

Go to ‘Retirement pot’ in your account and click on ‘Change investments’.

How do I nominate a beneficiary? 

Go to ‘Edit profile’ and click on ‘Nominated beneficiaries’.

How do I pay in more? 

To make a one-off additional contribution or set up regular additional contributions, log into your account and click on ‘Contributions’.

How do I start or stop getting paper communications? 

Go to ‘Edit profile’ in your account and click on ‘Edit personal details’.

What if I’ve lost my NEST ID? 

If you don’t have your NEST ID you can still log into your account with your NI number. Just click ‘I don’t have my NEST ID’ and follow the onscreen instructions.

What if I can’t remember my password? 

If you can’t remember your password, click on ‘Forgot password’ on the member login screen. You’ll need the username you created when you set up your account.

How do I let someone manage my account for me? 

Log into your account, go to ‘Edit profile’ and click on ‘Manage additional users’. From here you can give another person access to your account, for example, a financial adviser or a member of your family. This person is called a delegate. You control the level of access they have to your account from read-only to full access.

How do I opt out of NEST? 

You can opt out within your opt-out period. This is normally a one-month period after your employer has enrolled you. You can opt out by:

  • using our simple online process
  • contacting us by phone
  • completing a form to give to your employer. You’ll need to call us to get the form

Find out more about opting out

I opted out of NEST – why am I being re-enrolled?
If you’re automatically enrolled and you opt out then you’ll be automatically re-enrolled by the same employer around every three years, as long as you’re still eligible. You may also be automatically enrolled again if you change employers.

It’s a good opportunity to think again about saving in a pension scheme. Remember that small steps can make a big difference. The earlier you start, the more money you’ll put in and your savings will have more time to grow. Even if you’re near retirement, getting extra contributions from your employer and from the government in the form of tax relief can make saving worthwhile.

Find out more about making contributions to NEST

How do I stop contributions or take a break? 

You can take a break from making contributions or stop at any time by logging into your account and going to ‘Contributions’.

Otherwise you can let your employer know. If you want to start contributing again, you can do so whenever you like. If you want to receive an employer contribution you’ll need to talk to your employer to see if you’re still eligible.

If you stopped making contributions to your retirement pot more than 12 months ago then you may be automatically enrolled again as part of your employer’s three year re-enrolment duty. You should check with your employer when their next re-enrolment date is and whether you’ll be affected.

How do I make additional contributions to my retirement pot? 

You can make regular or one-off additional contributions by logging into your account and clicking on ‘Contributions’.

How is NEST’s annual contribution limit worked out? 

Money that counts towards your limit includes:

  • your contributions
  • contributions from your employer
  • any tax relief from the government

The limit also takes into account the NEST contribution charge, which we take off after your contributions go into your retirement pot.

So for the 2016/17 tax year the most that you could pay into your NEST pot would be £4,900, which would then have the 1.8 per cent contribution charge deducted.

From April 2017 the limit is due to be removed completely. After this you won’t be restricted in how much you can pay into your NEST pot in a single year.

What if someone else other than my employer wants to contribute some money to my pot? 

Other people, for example your partner or relative, can contribute to your retirement pot by visiting the Making a contribution page of our website.

You’ll need to give your NEST ID to the person making the contribution and they’ll need to pay using a debit card.

What happens if I have more than one job? How do I work out what my employers and I should be contributing? 

For each job you have, your employer will need to contribute at least the minimum required to comply with the law. If this means that more than NEST's annual contribution limit ends up being contributed as a result, we'll still accept it, so you don't need to worry about this.

Can I transfer money from another pension into NEST? 

You’ll be able to transfer money from another scheme into NEST from April 2017. Until then, you can only transfer other pensions to NEST if:

  • a court has awarded you a share of an ex-spouse or civil partner’s retirement pot in a divorce or at the end of a civil partnership
  • it’s from an occupational pension scheme in which you’ve saved for more than three months but less than two years.

What do I do if I receive a share of a NEST pension in a divorce settlement? 

Some people become members of NEST because they’ve received a share of an ex-spouse or ex-civil partner’s NEST retirement pot. They’ll have the choice to do this or move the money to another pension scheme when the court makes a pension sharing order.

We’ll contact you to confirm if you want to transfer the money to another scheme and include what forms you need to sign, if any.

Find out more about joining NEST through a divorce settlement

What if I lose my job? 

You’re still a member of NEST. We’ll look after your retirement pot in the fund as before and you can still contribute directly to your NEST pot yourself. If you do this you’ll need to contribute at least £10 each time.

If you’d like to make additional contributions, log into your account and click on ‘Contributions’.

Whether or not you make any additional contributions we’ll look after your pot until you're able to take your money out of NEST.

What if I change jobs or I’m unable to work? 

If you change jobs and your new employer uses NEST, then both you and your employer can contribute to the pot you already have.

Even if your next employer doesn’t offer NEST, you can still contribute directly to your NEST pot yourself. You’ll need to contribute at least £10 each time.

How do I take my money out? 

Your retirement is really important - you could be retired for 20 years or more. Deciding what to do with your pot is a big decision, so you should take time think about it carefully and get it right for you. You’ll find more information in the retirement section of our website.

How do I find out what I’ll get back in the end? 

You can use our pension calculator to see how much your pot could be worth when you come to take it out. You can also see how it could be affected by changing how much you contribute and when you plan to take your money out of NEST.

Use our pension calculator

How can I tell you who should get my money if I die before taking it out? 

You can tell us who you’d like to get your pot should you die before taking your money out of NEST. This is known as your nominated beneficiary. The quickest way to do this is to log into your account and go to ‘Edit profile’. Alternatively you can fill in the form included in your welcome pack and post it to us.

It’s important to keep your nominations up to date. If you change your mind about who should get your pot you need to tell us. Otherwise, if you die we have to follow your most recent instructions.

Find out more about nominating a beneficiary

How do I know what will happen to my retirement pot if I die? 

If you’ve completed a nominated beneficiary form we’ll do our best to make sure the money in your pot goes to the person or people you nominated. It’s important to keep your nominations up to date. If you change your mind about who should get your pot you need to tell us.

Otherwise, if you die we have to go with the last name or names you gave us.

If you die before your 75th birthday we’ll normally pay a cash lump sum to your nominated beneficiaries tax-free. If you’re 75 or older when you die:

  • any nominated beneficiaries who are financially dependent on you can use their share to buy a retirement income or take it as a lump sum
  • any nominated beneficiaries who aren’t dependent on you will receive their share of your pot as a lump sum

If I die and I haven’t filled out a nominated beneficiary form, or you can’t find my nominated beneficiary, what will happen to my retirement pot? 

We’ll normally have to pay your pot to whoever is appointed to look after your estate.

They’ll be responsible for distributing it in line with your will, or if you don’t leave a will, in line with the law. If no one has been appointed to look after your estate and your pot isn’t more than £5,000 we may decide to pay it to one or more of your relatives.

Lump sums payable if you die after age 75 may be subject to a tax charge of up to 45 per cent.

How do I transfer my money into a retirement pot held in another scheme? 

You can find out the value of your pot and request a transfer by calling us.

Normally you can only do this after age 55.

What happens if I become seriously ill before I'm due to take my money out of NEST? 

You may be able to take your money out of NEST before you're aged 55 if you're ill. If you're seriously ill, you may be able to take your entire pot as tax-free cash.

NEST has asked me to certify my identification. What does that mean? 

It means providing a copy of your passport or driving licence (we cannot accept the paper counterpart driving licence), that’s been signed by someone in a particular profession. Depending on the circumstances other forms of identification may be required.

Please note that if your name differs on the identification you are submitting to your name held on the system with NEST we would require you to provide further evidence.

We need someone to sign it because we need to see that the copy you’ve sent has been checked against the original document and your identity has been confirmed in person. This needs to be done by someone from a defined list of responsible professions accessible to the public.

This is a security measure to prevent someone else pretending to be you and accessing your money.

How do I get my identification certified? 

You will need to take your original identification and a copy to someone currently working in one of the professions listed below. That person then needs to write or stamp their name, profession, address and telephone number on the copy. The person certifying the identification must write on the copy the statement ‘I certify this is a true copy of the original’ and they must sign and date it.

  • Chartered accountant
  • Bank or building society official
  • Barrister
  • Chemist/pharmacist
  • Clergy or Clerk of Holy Orders
  • Commissioner of oaths
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Fire service official
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Member of Parliament
  • Nurse
  • Paramedic
  • Police officer
  • Post Office official
  • Solicitor

If the documents you send are not correctly certified, we can’t complete your request to take your money out and your paperwork will be sent back to you.

How do I know if I’m eligible for tax relief? 

At the moment, you’re generally eligible for tax relief if you’re under the age of 75 and meet one of the following requirements:

  • you are resident in the UK
  • you pay UK income tax
  • you have paid UK income tax during any one of the five tax years before the current one

If you get tax relief, the government will pay some of your contributions for you so you need to pay less.

We’ll claim the basic rate of tax relief on your behalf. We can usually only do this if we have your National Insurance number. It’s important to make sure you’ve given this information to us so you don’t miss out on any extra money.

You can get more information on tax relief the HMRC website (opens in a new window).

How does NEST claim tax relief?
NEST uses the ‘relief at source’ method of claiming tax relief. This means that you make contributions from your pay after the deduction of tax− if you pay tax. If you are eligible for tax relief, NEST will claim this for you from HMRC and add it to your pot.

If I don’t get tax relief do I still get the full minimum contribution? 

Yes, you’ll still get the minimum amount even if you’re not eligible for tax relief. This will be made up of contributions from you and your employer.

The total minimum contribution is currently 2 per cent of your qualifying earnings. Of this, your employer must pay at least 1 per cent. If you’re not eligible for tax relief, then the rest is made up by you.

It’s worth remembering that your employer could contribute more than the minimum if they want to, so you might not have to pay the full 1 per cent yourself.

Find out more about minimum contributions

What difference will tax relief make to my contributions? 

If you’re eligible, NEST will claim tax relief on your behalf and add it to your pot.

The basic rate of tax relief is 20 per cent. So if your minimum contribution is £100, you’ll pay in £80 and you’ll also get another £20 in the form of tax relief. In total £100 will go into your pot on top of any contributions from your employer.

If you pay a higher rate of tax on some of your earnings, you may be able to get more tax relief on your contributions. You’ll need to claim this yourself by completing a Self Assessment tax return and sending it to HMRC. You can find this on the HMRC website (opens in a new window).

If you’re not eligible for tax relief, you’ll have to make up your whole minimum contribution yourself. In the example above, you’d pay the full £100, unless your employer chooses to top up your contribution by paying extra for you.

Bear in mind that NEST currently has an annual contribution limit for what can go into your pot each year. Tax relief counts towards this limit as well as the contributions paid by you and your employer. See how much can go into your pot.

What should I do if my eligibility for tax relief changes? 

When you first join NEST, we’ll send you a welcome letter telling you whether we believe you’re eligible for tax relief or not. This is based on information from your employer or if you’re self-employed, the information you gave us.

If this information is correct you don’t need to do anything.

However, if you think the information in the letter is wrong, you need to let NEST know within 30 days.

During your time saving with NEST, if you think your eligibility for tax relief has changed at any point, you need to let us know. You also need to let your current employer know if they are contributing to NEST.

Your eligibility could change due to an event, for example, having not paid UK tax for more than five years, which would mean you’re no longer eligible.

If your eligibility changes, then you need to let us know by the later of these two dates:

  • 30 days after your eligibility has changed
  • by 5th April of the tax year in which the event occurs

It’s easy to let us know by logging in online and following the steps on screen. If you prefer, you can let us know in writing.

Where can I get the most up-to-date information on tax relief? 

We’ve taken care to make sure this FAQ is complete and up to date, but NEST is not responsible for any loss incurred as a result of using this information. If you have any doubts about your eligibility for tax relief, you should contact HMRC or visit their website (opens in a new window).

I’m already a member of NEST through my work. Can I also make self-employed contributions? 

Yes. If you’re already enrolled in NEST by your employer you can make your own additional contributions to NEST on top of contributions your employer deducts from your pay. Your contributions will go into the same retirement pot.

You don’t need to enrol into NEST again to make additional contributions. The total amount paid into your retirement pot in any year can’t be more than the annual contribution limit. That’s £4,700 for the 2015/16 tax year. The limit’s adjusted each year in line with average earnings. In April 2017 this limit is due to be removed completely so you’ll no longer be restricted in how much you can pay into your NEST pot in a year.

Your employer will not be able to see any details of your additional pension savings. They can only see details of the contributions they’ve made.

To pay additional contributions, log into your online account and select ‘Contributions’.

What happens if I’m self-employed and employed at the same time? 

If you’re self-employed you can be employed at the same time. If this applies to you and your employer is not using NEST you can still sign up to NEST as a self-employed member and pay your own contributions.

What if I’m a sole director and employed at the same time? 

If you’re a sole director you may also have a second job where you’re an employee at the same time. If this applies to you and your employer is not using NEST you can still sign up to NEST as a sole director and pay your own contributions.

Get in touch

If you can't find what you're looking for here, there are a few ways to contact us. You can chat to us online using our live help service, log in and send us a secure message from your NEST mailbox, or call our contact centre.

Contact us

Need to know more?

We’ve got a range of guides for members and their employers to help you understand pensions and what auto enrolment means for you. We also publish research into the pensions market to help inform the debate on the future of pensions.

See our library of guides and information