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What are the criteria for transferring money into NEST?

You can transfer money into NEST at any time to bring your retirement savings together.

It’s important to note that NEST only accepts certain types of transfer-in payments. It must be from a UK based pension scheme that’s registered with HMRC. It must also be made from one of the following:

  • A defined contribution scheme

This is a pension scheme where contributions are paid to build up a retirement pot over a period of time. The amount you get at the end depends on the value of the contributions, tax relief claimed from HMRC and any investment growth. NEST is a defined contribution pension scheme. This is different to a defined benefit scheme which aims to provide a specific income amount when you retire.

We don’t accept transfers from defined benefit schemes unless they’re early leaver cash transfers or pension credit transfers. The value of the pension pot you’re transferring should be more than £50.

  • A pension credit transfer

This could be a portion of an ex-spouse or ex-civil partner’s pension that’s been awarded to you as a result of a pension sharing order, granted on divorce or the end of a civil partnership.

NEST won’t accept a transfer amount that relates to a ‘disqualifying pension credit’. This is a pension credit arising from divorce or legal separation where the ex-spouse or ex-civil partner’s pension that was to be shared was actually in payment at the time the pension sharing order was awarded by the court. If you’ve already received the money then NEST will not be able to accept that amount as it will be considered as ‘Disqualifying pension credit’.

  • An early leaver cash transfer

You may be entitled to this type of transfer from another workplace pension scheme, if you’ve been paying contributions to it for more than three months but less than two years. The value of the pot you’re transferring needs to be more than £50.

Other important things to consider

Your existing pension scheme may also charge a penalty if you go ahead with the transfer to NEST, which would reduce the amount that’s transferred to your NEST pot. This charge may be some form of exit penalty or a fund charge called a market value adjustment or market value reduction.

The value of your NEST retirement pot is not guaranteed to increase, it can go down as well as up, depending on market movements. This also applies to any current pensions you transfer to your NEST pot. Once the transfer is made into your NEST pot, its value when you choose to take it will depend on several factors. These include how well your pot grows and how long you save.

To find out how to transfer money into NEST, please see How can I transfer money into NEST?

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