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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.

You can also transfer money into and out of NEST, which means you can bring any pension pots you may have together in NEST. This could make your pension savings easier to manage.

How much can go into your pot?


There are no restrictions on how much can go into your NEST pot. However members may pay additional tax on contributions that go over the annual allowance set by the government. You may also face an additional tax charge if the total of all your pension pots is over the government’s lifetime allowance when you take money out. Most member contributions won’t go above these limits.

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.

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


The minimum amount we accept for transfers into NEST is £50. However, this doesn’t apply to transfers of pension credit awarded as the result of a pension sharing order granted following a divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership.

We don’t charge for transfers into or out of NEST, but it’s important to check any charges that may be applied by your other provider. Any money transferred into NEST will be charged our standard 0.3% annual management charge (AMC).

Find out more about transfers into and out of NEST

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


Calculate your contributions

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

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.

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.

How much do transfers cost?

Transfers in

We don’t charge for transfers into NEST – we’ll only charge the 0.3% standard AMC on your transfer value. However it’s important to check any exit fees or charges with your other provider.

The minimum transfer amount we accept is £50. However, this doesn’t apply to transfers of pension credits awarded as a result of a pension sharing order following a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

Transfers out

We don’t charge for transfers out of NEST. However, it’s important to check any charges applied by your other provider.

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.

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.

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.

More about contributions

Most employers will look at your ‘qualifying earnings’ to work out your minimum contributions. For 2017/18 this is the money you earn over £5,876 and up to £45,000.