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We want you to be able to plan for your retirement with confidence. Our goal is to help you make the most of the money you give us to look after. This means keeping it safe and making it work for you.

The amount you get back depends on a number of things, such as the age you start contributing, how much is paid in to your retirement pot and when you retire.

These are the biggest factors and they’re all things you can control.

Starting to save younger – how you could benefit

Joining a workplace pension when you’re older – what you need to know

It can be hard to say exactly what you might end up with, especially in the early years. But as you get closer to retirement we can estimate what you’ll get much more accurately. Our pension calculator can give you an idea of what you might get.

Use our pension calculatorThe amount you get back depends on a number of things, such as the age you start contributing, how much is paid in to your retirement pot and when you retire. By taking small steps, you can really make a difference to how much you can get in the end. See how in our examples below.

As well as seeing more money go into your retirement pot, starting early means you have more time to benefit from contributions from your employer and see growth in the value of your investments. Over the years this can make a big difference.

Alicia is 28 and is thinking of putting off saving until a later date. She expects she’ll get a pension one day but feels it may be too early to think about retirement. She wants to know whether it makes any difference when she starts.

More about AliciaIn the following examples Alicia contributes the same amount of money in total. The only difference is when she starts saving.

Alicia contributes £20 every month. Her employer contributes £15 every month and the government contributes £5 tax relief every month. This adds up to a total contribution of £40 a month into NEST.

Alicia contributes regularly for 40 years, which means she contributes £9,560 in total. She also gets 40 years’ worth of contributions from her employers, which adds up to £7,170. She gets a further £2,390 tax relief back from the government.

So the total amount contributed over the 40 years to her retirement pot is £19,120.

These contributions have plenty of time to grow. She receives about £14,880 on top of her total contributions from investment growth.

When she takes her money out at 68, her retirement pot is expected to have grown to more than £34,000 in today’s money. That’s over three times the amount of money that she paid in herself.

Alicia contributes £40 a month, the same amount in total as in the first example. But because she waits until later to start saving in NEST she only gets 20 years’ worth of contributions from her employers. This adds up to £3,750. On top of this she also gets the same total amount of tax relief as in the first example.

Her money has less time to grow. She only receives £4,350 on top of her total contributions from investment growth.

So when she takes her money out at 68, her retirement pot has grown to around £20,600 in today’s money. That’s about £16,250 less than if she started contributing at 28 and paid in the same amount of money.

These examples are fictional and for illustrative purposes only.

In the following examples Alicia contributes the same amount of money in total. The only difference is when she starts saving.

Alicia contributes £20 every month. Her employer contributes £15 every month and the government contributes £5 tax relief every month. This adds up to a total contribution of £40 a month into NEST.

Alicia contributes regularly for 40 years, which means she contributes £9,560 in total. She also gets 40 years’ worth of contributions from her employers, which adds up to £7,170. She gets a further £2,390 tax relief back from the government.

So the total amount contributed over the 40 years to her retirement pot is £19,120.

These contributions have plenty of time to grow. She receives about £14,880 on top of her total contributions from investment growth.

When she takes her money out at 68, her retirement pot is expected to have grown to more than £34,000 in today’s money. That’s over three times the amount of money that she paid in herself.

Alicia contributes £20 a month, the same amount as in the first example. But because she waits until later to start saving in NEST she only gets 20 years’ worth of contributions from her employers. This adds up to £3,750. On top of this she also gets the same total amount of tax relief as in the first example.

Her money has less time to grow. She only receives £4,350 on top of her total contributions from investment growth.

So when she takes her money out at 68, her retirement pot has grown to around £20,600 in today’s money. That’s about £16,250 less than if she started contributing at 28 and paid in the same amount of money.

Putting more money in your account gives you the obvious advantage that there’ll be more in it when you come to take your money out. You’ll also get tax relief on these extra contributions and they’ll have time to benefit from NEST’s investment strategy.

Jason is 35. He’s been saving £40 a month in NEST for a few years. He gets £30 a month from his employer and £10 tax relief, for a total of £80. NEST’s pension calculator shows that his retirement pot could be worth about £66,600 on his 67th birthday. But what if he contributed more?

More about JasonJason saves for the same amount of time in both examples, and starts from the same place. The only difference is the increase in his contributions.

This means there’s a total of £92.50 going into Jason’s retirement pot every month, including the extra tax relief he gets from the government. It would be higher if he worked for an employer who matched his additional contributions.

In total, he’s paid in an extra £3,840. If he gets the same rate of return on his NEST investments his retirement pot could be worth almost £75,500 on his 67th birthday. This is an additional £8,900.

This means there’s a total of £117.50 going into Jason’s retirement pot every month, including tax relief. It would be higher if his employer agreed to match his additional contributions.

In total, he’s paid in an extra £11,520. If he gets the same rate of return on his NEST investments his retirement pot could be worth over £93,200 on his 67th birthday. This is an additional £26,600.

These examples are fictional and for illustrative purposes only.

Jason saves for the same amount of time in both examples, and starts from the same place. The only difference is the increase in his contributions.

This means there’s a total of £92.50 going into Jason’s retirement pot every month, including the extra tax relief he gets from the government. It would be higher if he worked for an employer who matched his additional contributions.

In total, he’s paid in an extra £3,840. If he gets the same rate of return on his NEST investments his retirement pot could be worth almost £75,500 on his 67th birthday. This is an additional £8,900.

This means there’s a total of £117.50 going into Jason’s retirement pot every month, including tax relief. It would be higher if his employer agreed to match his additional contributions.

In total, he’s paid in an extra £11,520. If he gets the same rate of return on his NEST investments his retirement pot could be worth over £93,200 on his 67th birthday. This is an additional £26,600.

These examples are fictional and for illustrative purposes only.

People are working for longer these days, as they remain in good health for longer. Working for a few more years could mean more than staying healthy and engaged with life. It could also add substantially to your retirement pot.

Margaret is 55. Her retirement pot is currently £20,000 and her total contributions – including her employer’s contribution and tax relief – are £100 a month. NEST’s pension calculator tells her that she might get a retirement pot of just over £49,400 at her State Pension age of 66. But how much more could she get if she put off her plans for a few years?

More about MargaretMargaret keeps saving at the same level and gets the same amount from her employer and tax relief. The only difference is the extra time she spends saving for her retirement.

Margaret uses the pension calculator again to see what would happen if she changed her NEST retirement date and took out her money at age 68. She sees that she might get a retirement pot of over £54,800, or £5,400 extra.

Margaret uses the pension calculator again to see what would happen if she changed her NEST retirement date and took out her money at age 70. She sees that she might get a retirement pot of just under £60,500. This is almost £11,100 more than the value at age 66.

These examples are fictional and for illustrative purposes only.

Margaret keeps saving at the same level and gets the same amount from her employer and tax relief. The only difference is the extra time she spends saving for her retirement.

Margaret uses the pension calculator again to see what would happen if she changed her NEST retirement date and took out her money at age 68. She sees that she might get a retirement pot of over £54,800, or £5,400 extra.

Margaret uses the pension calculator again to see what would happen if she changed her NEST retirement date and took out her money at age 70. She sees that she might get a retirement pot of just under £60,500. This is almost £11,100 more than the value at age 66.

These examples are fictional and for illustrative purposes only.

All the amounts in our examples are worked out in ‘today’s money’. This means we’re showing what the retirement pots would be worth today. This is different from the amount the savers will actually get when they take their money out of NEST, which will reflect the effect of inflation. Using figures in today’s money makes it easier for you to see the difference that these choices make.

- Sally’s NEST retirement date is 30 years away. She’s been told that on this date she could get a retirement income of about £100 a week in today’s money
- This means her weekly retirement income would be worth about the same as £100 a week is worth today. To put it another way it would buy her the same amount of goods that £100 buys her today
- Prices usually go up over time because of inflation. We assume that inflation will be 2.5 per cent each year. Over time, the effect of inflation builds up so, as an example, in 30 years it will take £210 to buy what £100 buys today
- That means Sally’s weekly retirement income could actually be £210 a week. This sounds like a lot more than £100. But because of inflation this £210 would only buy her the same amount as £100 buys today
- That’s why we say that £210 in 30 years’ time is £100 in today’s money

All the examples given here are fictional and for illustrative purposes only. In each of them we’ve assumed that:

- the person gets basic rate tax relief from the government of 20 per cent. That's an extra one-fifth of their own contribution added to their retirement pot
- their retirement pot is invested in a NEST Retirement Date Fund
- their pot will grow in value because of the return on NEST investments, minus the charges they pay
- their rate of growth is between 2 and 3 per cent more than inflation for every year until their NEST retirement date

All contributions are shown in today’s money. The contributions in our examples will actually increase each year in line with inflation.

Our one aim is to keep your money safe and make it grow. We do this by investing it in one of our NEST retirement funds.

Find out what happens to your money in NESTNew pension rules mean there’s more freedom than ever in how you can take out your money when you retire. And you can do it sooner, from the age of 55.

See how you can get your money in retirement