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Nest Retirement Date Fund

We designed our flagship Nest Retirement Date Funds to work for you, no matter your age or income. It’s one of the reasons over 99% of our members stay in these award-winning funds – a total of around 10 million people. As flexible funds that adapt to your changing needs over the years, they work hard to protect and grow your savings throughout your life.

How does it work?

Pension funds have one purpose – to help you put money aside for when you’re no longer working and earning. They do this by investing your savings in things like company shares, loans, property and more, so that your money grows over time. 

Our investment approach takes this one step further. You care about where your pounds go – and so do we. That’s why we work hard to bring you better profits by also considering how people and the planet are treated. 

It’s more than just talk. We were one of the first pension providers to commit to net zero carbon emissions. We also promote workers’ rights, knowing that members like you make up a majority of the UK’s workforce. Actions like this form part of a strategy carefully crafted with you and your future in mind, as we believe it’s likely to make more money for you over time. 

So, how does it work as part of a pension fund? It’s simple, when you join, you’ll be put in a Nest Retirement Date Fund that matches the year we think you’ll start withdrawing your pension savings. That’s automatically set to your State Pension age. For example, if you’ll reach your State Pension age in 2055, you’ll be put in the 2055 Nest Retirement Date Fund. 

Your pension savings go into this fund. They’re then combined with other members’ pots and invested on your behalf using a four-phase approach that changes with your age. Your money is invested collectively because it gives you access to the kinds of investments that are only available to the largest investors, so you benefit from the kinds of deals that only large investors get - but it’s still always your money.

Where does my money go?

We put your money into investments like property, renewable energy plants, company shares like Samsung or Microsoft, commodities like gold, coffee or wheat, and much more. The exact proportion of how much is held in each sector depends on your age and how the markets are performing. However, we invest your money in more places than the average pension provider – this is our way of making sure we don’t keep all your eggs in one basket, which should help it grow more steadily and keep it safer.

You can find out more detail on where this fund is invested and how it’s performing in our latest quarterly investment report.

We've partnered with Tumelo, an online investment tool, so you can find out which companies your money is invested in.

Funds that adapt to your age

You’re likely to need different things from your pension at different stages of your life. In your twenties and thirties, it’s wise to build up your savings as quickly as possible. But if you’re close to withdrawing your savings, you need to protect yourself more from loss so you have secure funds to draw on in retirement. This is the main reason it’s important to keep your Nest retirement date aligned with your life plans.

See how Nest Retirement Date Fund is tailored to your life stage

Our four-phase approach

We adapt the investment strategies of our Nest Retirement Date Funds over the years, tailoring them to your life stage in four phases. It’s also known as lifestyling. We also do this in the Nest Higher Risk Fund if you choose the lifestyled strategy and in the Nest Ethical Fund.

In your early twenties, we focus on steadily growing your pot and avoiding any sharp losses of money. This phase lasts five years and is designed to help younger members get into the habit of saving regularly. Our strategy here aims to grow your savings in line with the rising costs of living by investing in selected markets, like company shares or products like gold or wheat.

This is the powerhouse phase of our investment strategy, starting from your mid-twenties and older. We make your money work harder because this is when every little bit of extra performance on your pot will make the biggest difference to what you get back at the end. We try to grow your savings quickly by investing your money across more markets and putting more of your money into company shares as these can be more profitable investments over time. However, we’ll never take more investment risk than is necessary – our goal is to grow your pot steadily and carefully rather than pursuing big wins at any cost. 

We work to not only beat the rising costs of living, but to add at least an additional 3% to your savings, after all charges. So if you had £1,500 saved with us, we’d hope to boost that to £2,495 over ten years – and that’s without you topping up your pot. It’s more than you’d get from saving into a bank account. This phase lasts for roughly 30 years, so forms the main part of our investment approach.

Roughly ten years before your Nest retirement date, which is the year we think you’ll start withdrawing your pension savings, we start to move your investments out of higher risk markets. This helps to protect your savings from sharper falls if the wider economy or the stock market takes a fall. You’re less likely to see any big rises in value, but extensive research with our members shows that they’d rather have peace of mind knowing approximately how much they have to retire on than risking their savings. Our investment strategy will still try to beat the rising costs of living.

You don’t have to withdraw your pension savings as soon as you’ve hit State Pension age. In fact, you can keep contributing. 

If you reach your Nest retirement date and you haven’t taken your pot, we’ll automatically move it to the Nest Post Retirement Fund or the Nest Guided Retirement Fund. If they’re not right for your needs or you’re not planning on taking your money out, you can change your retirement date to a later point, switch into a different Nest fund, withdraw your savings or transfer out at any point. After all, they’re your savings and you’re the best judge of what you need from them.

Nest Post Retirement Fund

If you have less than £10,000 in your pot, we’ll move you into the Nest Post Retirement Fund. It’s been designed as a temporary holding place for your money while you work out your financial plans. It’ll all be kept in low risk investments so it’s protected from big falls in value. 

If you don’t plan on taking your pension pot soon, we recommend you update your Nest retirement date to match the year you plan on withdrawing your money or choose a different fund. This helps stop you from missing out on potential gains over the longer term.

Nest Guided Retirement Fund 

If you have more than £10,000 in your pot, we’ll move you into the Nest Guided Retirement Fund. This innovative fund allows members to stay with Nest beyond their intended retirement date and continue benefitting from potential investment returns while also being able to access some of your money. It aims to provide a stable and sustainable level of money which you can withdraw until age 85, leaving a separate pot that can be used to purchase a guaranteed income for life at that point.

Nest pension fund performance

There’s a reason you have a pension rather than putting your hard-earned money straight into a savings account. We invest it, which is how we can grow your money more than if you kept it in a bank over the years.  

Our aim is to grow the money in these funds more than the rising costs of living. After all, you want whatever you save now to buy you the same standard of life in the future. In the growth phase of this fund, we work to not only beat any rises in costs of living over time, but also add an extra 3% on top – and that’s after taking into account all charges and fees. 

Experts Defaqto have announced our Nest Retirement Date Funds as having some of the best risk-adjusted returns in the industry for the third year in a row. That means compared to other providers, we’ve grown our members’ savings while taking less risk with your money. 

Learn the difference between pot performance and fund performance, or see how Nest’s funds are performing.

How Nest Retirement Date Funds are different

At Nest, we work for you, and only you. Our investment strategy was created after years of research and consultation with workers like you across the country. We used this data to create funds that flex to your needs over the years. And because of how they’re set up, we can change our approach if the economy or financial markets shift unexpectedly – all while keeping your fund tailored to your age and working hard to build up your pot over the years.  

As with all our funds, our team of experts work hard to give you a bigger pension in a better world. Their careful, award-winning approach has been praised within the industry over the years. And through our responsible investment choices, we hope that saving for your future will help give you a future that’s worth saving for.

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corporate adviser awards 2023 ultimate default fund
corporate adviser awards 2023 best default ESG strategy
european pension awards 2023

How can I take control of my money?

You don’t need to do anything at all to take advantage of our award-winning investment service. Whether you’ve got one pound in your account or one million, our team of experts works to grow your money throughout your whole time with us. 

If you’d prefer to set the destination and leave getting there to us, you can. Just make sure your Nest retirement date matches your plans. If you want to choose how you invest, that’s fine too. We offer four additional funds, each tailored for different beliefs, values or attitudes towards risk. It’s your money. You call the shots.

Are there different types of investment fund?


Nest Ethical Fund

Invested with specific ethical concerns and moral values in mind

Nest Ethical Fund


Nest Sharia Fund

A fund that complies with Sharia principles

Nest Sharia Fund


Nest Higher Risk Fund

Takes more risk for a chance of greater reward

Nest Higher Risk Fund


Nest Lower Growth Fund

Protects the value of your pot at the expense of growth

Nest Lower Growth Fund

A fund for after retirement

Our Nest Guided Retirement Fund is an option you can choose if you want to start taking money from your Nest pot at retirement.


Nest Guided Retirement Fund

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