The UK doesn’t have a default retirement age anymore, so you can choose when to retire. However, you do have to reach a certain age to start accessing your workplace or personal pensions, and you have to be a certain age to start claiming the State Pension.
What’s the UK State Pension age?
For a long time the State Pension age was 65 for men and 60 for women, however it’s recently risen to 66 for both men and women. It’s likely to keep rising - reaching 67 by 2028.
You can use the government’s state pension age checker to see when you can expect to reach State Pension age. Bear in mind though that this calculator doesn’t take into account any further changes to legislation (and likely further age increases) that may take place between now and your retirement. Eventually, the State Pension age will be linked to average life expectancy.
Once you reach State Pension age, you don’t have to stop working. If you do continue working, you no longer need to pay National Insurance Contributions, which means you’ll keep more of your wages. And if you delay claiming your State Pension, you may be eligible for extra money when you eventually retire.
What is the pension age for women?
Women are no longer entitled to an earlier State Pension age, as all taxpayers will reach the new State Pension age from 66 or over. Previously the State Pension system had pension entitlement or inheritance rules for women that depended on their spouse’s State Pension.
Those particularly affected were: divorced women, married women, and widows. Understanding whether or not you’ve been receiving the correct State Pension is complex as it is calculated individually. If you’re unsure you can contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and ask.
What’s the age I can start drawing my personal pension?
You can usually access money from your personal pensions - including those set up by your employer - when you reach 55. This will increase to 57 by 2028.
Under new pension freedom rules, you can choose to cash in your pot when you reach this age, or take out chunks of money and leave the rest of your pot invested to provide you with an income. Or, you can still choose to use the money to buy an annuity. When you’re considering these options, it’s important to consider the tax implications.
As always with investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice.
Last edited: 07-07-2021