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Supporting you through
uncertain times

Exclamation icon Be aware of pension and investment scams

We’ve seen a dramatic rise in email and phishing scams as fraudsters take advantage of the shift to digital services.

Remember to be extra vigilant. We’ll only ever send requests for information to the mailbox in your online account.

Our Pension scams and online security page has information on how to stay safe online.

When there's a lot happening in the wider world, this can affect the financial markets - and in turn, your pension pot. The ongoing cost of living crisis has stretched budgets, making it harder to save.

Whether the markets are booming or suffering a temporary setback, whether you're contributing or not, we're here to support you, working tirelessly on your behalf to deliver a bigger pension in a better world.

How Nest protects your savings

As the UK’s largest workplace pension provider, we’re well placed to weather potential risks in the financial markets.

Over 99% of our members are saving into our flagship Nest Retirement Date Funds. These protect your money by investing it into more markets than the average pension provider. It's our way of making sure we don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Over the last five years, on average we’ve delivered consistently strong returns while taking less investment risk with your money than other providers. We want to give you a bigger pension when you retire and we’re putting all our effort into making it happen.

Like all pensions, your Nest pension pot is invested in things like stocks, shares and property. These are known as financial markets. We pick markets that generally rise in price over the years, choosing the ones we think will make money for you.

The long-term rise of the financial markets can occasionally be interrupted by major events, either within the UK or around the world. You may have noticed this during the Covid-19 pandemic, or after global conflict, political crises or energy shortages. These events create uncertainty about the future. And uncertainty causes the price of markets to rise and fall unexpectedly, which could affect how much you have in your pension pot.

Remember, prices don’t tend to keep falling. Once the uncertainty is over, markets usually rise again. This is a natural part of investing and is built into our strategy.

Our goal is to make sure that your pot grows enough to match or beat the rising cost of living over the many years or decades you’ll be saving with us, even after accounting for our charges.

For more information, explore our help centre article ‘What happens to my pension pot when there’s uncertainty in the financial markets?’.

You may have heard pension funds were at risk in the news. These are a different type of pension fund to Nest, and your savings remain safe with us.

The Bank of England intervened to buy government bonds, also known as gilts, in order to calm the financial markets and stop their price from falling any further. The drop in price had put defined benefit pension funds under pressure, as these funds tend to be heavily invested in gilts.

Nest is a defined contribution scheme. We don't invest in the same way that defined benefit schemes invest, and don't currently invest in UK gilts. We therefore aren't affected by this issue in the same way.

You may have heard ‘inflation’ being discussed in the news lately. Inflation is a way of measuring the cost of everyday groceries and bills, otherwise known as the cost of living. The more it rises, the more expensive things get – and the tighter budgets are squeezed.

Inflation doesn’t just impact your day-to-day costs. It can also affect long-term savings like pensions. That’s why we work hard to grow your savings in line with the rising costs of living.

See how inflation could affect your pension pot.

The cost of living crisis has the potential to affect financial markets, which in turn affect your pension savings. Our investment strategy is carefully designed to take these kinds of short-term issues into account, helping your pension pot weather the years or decades you'll be saving.

Over 99% of our members are in one of our Nest Retirement Date Funds. These award-winning funds were designed to work for most people, but you can choose to invest for different beliefs, faiths or risk appetite.

We can’t give financial advice but we’d recommend that you discuss your options with a financial adviser or Money Helper. Remember, investors generally want to buy when the markets are low and sell when prices have risen. Switching from a higher risk fund to a lower risk one just after a market fall is like doing the opposite of that. You risk locking your losses in.

We recommend that you explore your choices and compare Nest’s different pension fund performance before you make any decisions.

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Balancing contributions against your costs of living

When people are worried about making ends meet, it’s understandable that you might look at where you can cut or reduce your spending.

There’s no simple answer as it depends on your personal circumstances. Remember that your employer may also contribute to your pension pot and if you stop contributing, your employer will usually stop contributing too. You may also get extra money in your pot from tax relief. Pausing your contributions means you won’t get these extra savings.

You may find our help centre article useful as you explore your options.

We recognise that times are tough and bills are set to rise, particularly over the winter months. If you need to pause or reduce your contributions to focus on your day-to-day costs, that’s okay. Just set a personal reminder to start contributions when you’re ready. You may need to ask your employer to get these set up again.

In most cases, there’s a legal minimum amount that must be paid into your pot by yourself and your employer. That means you’ll only be able to reduce your payments if your employer currently pays more than the minimum level. You'll need to discuss this with your employer. If you’re self employed or your employer isn’t required to contribute towards your pension, you can choose to pay as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.

If you’re able to keep contributing, you’ll get extra money from your employer and the government every time you top up your pot, as long as you’re eligible. Whether you’re contributing or not, we’ll work hard to grow your money by investing it, aiming to beat the rising costs of living.

If you’d like to get a clearer view of where every pound goes and how you can make the most of your finances, MoneyHelper’s budget planner might help.

If you’ve just been enrolled into Nest but aren’t sure you can afford to contribute, you can opt out up to four weeks after your enrolment. Opting out means you won’t receive any additional contributions from your employer or from the government through tax relief.

If you change your mind after you’ve opted out, you’ll need to ask your employer to enrol you into Nest again. It might be worth setting a personal reminder for a few months’ time to see whether you’re ready to start saving for the future.

We don't charge for transfers, so you can easily transfer your other pots to Nest. We have a track record of providing good returns while taking less risk with your money.

Can you access your Nest pension savings?

Your pension is your personal nest egg for later life. We keep your money safe so you can access it when you need it most.

Although you can't withdraw your savings before age 55, you can transfer your different pension pots into Nest. Many people find their savings easier to manage when they combine their pots together.

While your savings are with us, our investment team is working hard to grow your money, aiming to beat the rising costs of living.

If a scheme offers to help you release cash from your pension before you’re 55, it’s almost certainly a scam. You can only withdraw your savings before then if you’re suffering from serious ill health or are incapable of work due to illness.

You can access your pension pot from the age of 55. Whether you choose to take all or some of it, you can withdraw 25% of your savings tax free. You’ll find all the information you need in our help centre article on taking your money out.

If you’re still working then it’s worth thinking about whether you’ll need your pension savings to fund your later life. The longer you can leave your savings untouched, the longer you’ll have to build up your pot. There are also tax implications to bear in mind.

Whatever you decide, we recommend you get advice or guidance from an independent expert. Pension Wise offers free appointments to talk through your options and help you make the right decision for your circumstances. They can also check that you’re not being scammed. Fraudsters will try to take your pension savings by promising high returns, often preying on money worries and using high pressure tactics. Keep an eye out for these common warning signs.

If you’ve built up several pensions over the years but lost track of your pots, the government offer free service to search for lost pensions. Recent studies estimate there may be over £26 billion held in lost pension pots – don’t let yours be one of them.

The world of work has changed over the years and not everyone retires as soon as they reach State Pension age. Some choose to stop working earlier. Others move into semi-retirement or part-time work so they can continue to build up their pot. Whatever your plans, it’s your choice.

If you’ve decided to stop working and would like to withdraw your Nest pension to live off, take a look at the different options available to you at retirement.

The longer you leave it until you start taking your pension, the longer your money has to grow. And the longer you leave it until you claim your State Pension, the higher your payments could be. And if you choose to keep working after age 66, you generally won’t have to pay National Insurance contributions, increasing your take home pay.

To see how much money you’re entitled to, check your State Pension forecast.

Organisations offering help and support

If you’re worried about how rising costs of living will impact you and your family, there are several organisations offering help and support.

MoneyHelper joins up money and pensions guidance to make it quicker and easier to find the right help.

Simple Energy Advice provides impartial and independent advice on reducing your energy bills. 

Steps2change is the UK's leading debt charity, offering expert debt advice and fee-free debt management.

Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially, including how to access benefits.

Help for Households is a website that pulls together the different types of support the UK government offers, including a cost of living payment for anyone who's eligible.

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Need more help?

It’s important not to panic or make rushed decisions about your pension. Our advice and guidance page explains where you can get help.

Advice and guidance

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Benefits of our investment approach

Members like you are at the heart of our approach. Everything we do is designed with your needs in mind.

See how our investment approach works for you