When Can I Retire? UK Private & State Pension Breakdown

As we grow older we start to wonder what retirement may be like, but first, we need to know what ages we can start to access our private or state pension pots. Inside this post, we will be breaking down when you can retire and the potential impact of retirement on your pension.

The age you decide to retire is up to you. For men and women, you can access your state pension from age 66. The state pension age is scheduled to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028. However, you can access your private or workplace pension when you reach age 55. Scheduled to rise to age 57 in 2028.

This post will break down some of the main questions surrounding when you can receive your state or private pension.

When can I retire with a State Pension?

The growing State Pension age means that people are receiving this regular government-provided income at a later age. Since December 2018, men and women have qualified for the state pension at the same age – currently 66.

The State Pension can cover a significant part of your retirement expenditure. The default age at which we can access our State Pension is periodically reviewed by the government and has steadily been increasing subject to adjustments in government legislation.

 

Date of Birth Date state pension age reached
April 6th 1960 to 5th May 1960 66 years and 1 month
6th of May 1960 to 5th of June 1960 66 years and 2 month
6th of June 1960 to 5th of July 1960 66 years and 3 month
6th of July 1960 to 5th of August 1960 66 years and 4 month (1)
6th of August 1960 to 5th of September 1960 66 years and 5 month
6th of September 1960 to 5th of October 1960 66 years and 6 month
6th of October 1960 to 5th of November 1960 66 years and 7 month
6th of November 1960 to 5 December 1960 66 years 8 month
6th of December 1960 to 5 January 1961 66 years and 9 months (2)
6th January 1961 to 5 February 1961 66 years and 10 months (3)
6th February 1961 to 5 March 1961 66 years and 11 months
6th February 1961 to 5 March 1961 67
Table 1: Shows Increase in State Pension age from 66 to 67 for men and women

Notes
For the purposes of calculating an individual’s State Pension age the following applies:

 

  1. A person born on 31st July 1960 is considered to reach the age of 66 years and 4 months on
    30th November 2026.
  2. A person born on 31st December 1960 is considered to reach the age of 66 years and 9
    months on 30th September 2027.
  3. A person born on 31st January 1961 is considered to reach the age of 66 years and 10
    months on 30th November 2027.

 

The government revealed its intention to increase the state pension age from 67 to 68 between 2037 and 2039, which is seven years earlier than originally anticipated. This implies that people born between April 1970 and April 1978 may anticipate their state pension age to be 68 and not 67.  Although the government intends to do this it hasn’t yet been authorised by parliament, so the complete changed time frame isn’t published.

If you are looking to access your state pension, you will need your national insurance number so that your records can be accessed. If you need help or further information accessing your state pension you can visit your local pension centre or go to the Government website where you will be asked to complete a state pension claim form.

 

How will early retirement affect my state pension amount?

You need at least 10 years qualifying years worth of National Insurance contributions to receive any state pension at all, and 35 years to get the full state pension, which is now £179.60 a week. This is known as this pension credit qualifying age.

If you choose to retire early without the maximum number of years, you will earn a lesser state pension amount when you reach state pension age.

Therefore if you decide to retire before reaching state pension age, your state pension might be smaller. This is because the amount you receive is dependent on the number of years’ worth of National Insurance contributions you have.

To find our more information on your state pension age, contributions to NI and help workout how much state pension you might get you can visit the following page ‘Check your state pension’. 

 

How is state pension paid?

State Pension is automatically paid into your bank account every 4 weeks.  You are paid ‘in arrears’, which means you are paid for the last 4 weeks, not for the coming 4 weeks.

State pension is taxable but has to be paid in advance of taxes. This means although tax is not deducted from the state pension, it uses up some of your tax-free personal allowances. In 2021/22 the standard tax free personal  allowance is £12,570.20

 

State Pension Age Increase

 

When will state pension rise to 67?

The state pension age will rise to age 67 by 2028. This could change again in the future depending on a number of variables, such as changes to life expectancy.

 

When will state pension age rise to age 68?

In July 2017 it was decided that the state pension age will rise to 68. This change will occur between 2037 and 2039. This means that those born between April 1970 and April 1978 should anticipate their state pension age to be 68 and not 67.

 

 

Which state pension will I get?

Whether you receive a new state pension or basic state pension  depends on what age you were born. The table below shows how the year you were born affects whether you receive the ‘new state pension’ or ‘old state pension’. The new state pension was introduced in 2016 to replace base basic state pension.

Those who already qualified for basic state pension will continue to receive it and only new claimants will receive the new state pension, however, eventually, the basic state pension will be phased out.

 

Gender Date of Birth Pension
Female Before the 6th of April 1953 Basic State Pension
Female After the 5th of April 1953 New State Pension
Male Before the 6th of April 1952 Basic State Pension
Male After 5th of April 1951 New State Pension
Table 2: Shows displayed which state pension type you will get depending on your birthday.

 

When Can I Retire With A Private Pension?

You can retire at any age you want, however, you can only access your private pension from the minimum of age of 55. The age at which you can access your private or personal pension is expected to rise to 57 in 2028. You may be able to take money out before this age if you are retiring because of ill health.

The obvious risk of cashing in a private pension or personal pension early is that you run out of money in retirement. You need to plan your retirement properly to make sure that you have enough to live on throughout retirement.

Types of private pensions include:

 

  • Defined Benefit or Final Salary
  • Defined Contribution

 

Can a final salary pension be accessed early?

With a final salary pension, often known as a “defined benefit” plan, the situation is a little more complex than usual.  The income you get is based on your salary whilst in the scheme, at the point you left and the number of years that you were a member. They have a normal retirement age, which is typically age 65 but could be 60,62 or even 67 depending on the age of the scheme. Benefits can usually be accessed before these ages but there may be some conditions, such as needing employer or pension trustee permission to do so. If you are able to access benefits early, schemes normally reduce the amount of pension you receive from the start to reflect the fact that they will be paying it to you for longer

If you want to access your final salary scheme early you may have to transfer out of it.

 

How to transfer out of a final salary scheme early?

You may be tempted to transfer to a ‘defined contribution’ pension if you want to access you final salary pension before you fully retire or you want access to a lump sum without the need for the ongoing pension income.

A transfer may give you more flexibility, but there are risks involved, and you should think very carefully about the pros and cons of this.

A final salary pension offers you guaranteed income in retirement. Your income will generally keep pace with inflation and will be protected from market downturns – unlike a defined contribution pension, which will be tied to underlying investments. If your final salary pension benefits are valued at more than £30,000, you will have to seek advice from a financial adviser before making a transfer.

 

Can I retire early?

Planned income and expenditure needs to be considered, but the age you choose to retire is entirely up to you. To help fund early retirement, you can access your private pension from age 55 and your state pension when you reach the current state pension age.

When working out how much you need for early retirement you can use some of the figures below as a guide.

If you’re a single person, the PLSA (Pension and Lifetime Savings Association) guidelines say your annual pension income for the three levels should be around:

 

  • Minimum = £10,200
  • Moderate = £20,000
  • Comfortable = £33,000

 

However, if you’re part of a couple who are seeking an early retirement your figures should be around:

 

  • Minimum = £15,700
  • Moderate = £30,000
  • Comfortable = £47,500

We’re all individuals who have different levels of costs in our lives and whilst these guideline figures are a good starting point, they don’t necessarily reflect you and your desired levels of expenditure. We would suggest seeking support from a financial planner who can help you work out what you need and if you have enough so that you can make an informed decision.

Will I run out of money in retirement?

 

This all depends on your pension pot and the lifestyle you want to lead in retirement.

If your wondering ‘Do I need a financial advisor for my pension‘ you can check out this link,

 

Working with a financial adviser to address any unknowns and create a retirement plan will give you peace of mind.

 

Your adviser will assess your situation and help you understand how long your money will last, removing any fear of running out of money in retirement.

 

The concept of time is something you need to consider. The last thing you want to happen is to run out of money and then need to pay for a care home or make significant additions to your home if you have mobility issues or any other specific needs.

 

Time is as much a resource as money, yet we rarely give it the same focus.

 

That’s why at Joslin Rhodes Pension & Retirement Planning we put time front and centre, as a reminder to use it as wisely as your money.

 

Our PlanHappy Lifestyle Financial Planning process maps out exactly how much you’ll have and how long it’ll last for. In these forecasting sessions, our advisers are as realistic as possible to make sure you’re resting easy in retirement.

 

If we forecast you’ll run out of money early, then we’ll advise you on what to do regarding this and whether retiring at 55 is the right decision.

 

Can I consolidate my pensions?

Pension consolidation is simply a way you can keep track of your money by putting it in one pot and clearly managing it for the best growth possible.

 

There are advantages and disadvantages to consolidating your pension, and one of our financial advisers will be able to guide you on if it’s right for you.

 

The benefits of consolidating a pension

 

It’s easier to keep track and manage your pension savings and see if they’re doing well and then take steps to help them perform better if not.

 

If some of your pensions are higher cost schemes it might be better to transfer them to a lower cost scheme.

 

Merging your pension pots might open a wider choice of investments if you’re looking for one flexible solution.

 

Drawbacks of consolidating a pension

 

If your pension is a Defined Benefit pension, it might not be the best idea to transfer out as the guaranteed income takes away any investment risk.

 

If your pension has a guaranteed annuity rate it’s important to think about the implications carefully before transferring out and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages carefully.

 

It’s also important to see whether any of your pension providers will charge you for transferring money out of the scheme.

 

What is the UK retirement age for 2021?

Men and women from the UK, born between 6 October 1954, and 5 April 1960 will start receiving their state pension on their 66th birthday. This is scheduled to rise to age 67 between the years 2026 and 2028. However, UK residents can retire and access their private pension currently from age 55.

 

Can my employer force me to retire?

Employers used to be able to force workers to retire at age 65, but there is no longer a forced retirement age as this law was removed in 2011. You can keep working beyond age 65 if you want or need to. Employers can also ask you to retire early if your job requires you to have a certain level of mental or physical abilities.

 

Can I retire early due to ill health?

You may be able to take money from your pension savings earlier than age 55 if you need to due to ill health. If you’ve had to stop working because you’ve become physically or mentally incapable of continuing your employment, you should get in touch with your pension provider for further information.

If you become terminally ill then you may be able to take your whole pension pot as a tax-free lump sum if all of the following apply to you:

 

  • You’re expected to live less than a year because of a serious illness.
  • You’re under 75.
  • You do not have more than the lifetime allowance of £1,073,100 in pension savings.

 

What is the default retirement age?

Pension schemes typically have a default normal retirement age which is used for projecting pension benefits to. Depending on the age of the scheme this is usually in line with your State Pension age. You do not necessarily have to access your benefits at this age, though. You may be able to access them earlier or later.

Employers used to be allowed to force workers to retire at 65, however, there is no longer a default retirement age since this rule was withdrawn in 2011. You can stay working after 65 if you choose or need to.

 

When can I retire if I was born in 1955?

In the UK, If you were born in 1955 you can access your state pension from age 66. State Pension age is gradually increasing year on year and is scheduled to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

 

When can I retire if I was born in 1956?

In the UK, If you were born in 1956 you can access your state pension from age 66. State Pension age is gradually increasing year on year and is scheduled to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

 

When can I retire if I was born in 1957?

In the UK, If you were born in 1957 you can access your state pension from age 66. State Pension age is gradually increasing year on year and is scheduled to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

 

When can I retire if I was born in 1958?

In the UK, If you were born in 1958 you can access your state pension from age 66. State Pension age is gradually increasing year on year and is scheduled to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

 

Will I get my State Pension on my 66th birthday?

Men and women from the UK, born between 6 October 1954, and 5 April 1960 are entitled to receive their State pension from age 66. It is not automatically paid – you need claim it and should receive a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) telling you what to do at least 2 months before you reach State pension age. Once you have made the claim you will get a letter about the payments you will receive and when. The first payment is typically withing 5 weeks or reaching State Pension age.

 

How can we help you retire? – Free retirement review

 

To get started on your journey to retirement, you can take our free no-obligation first meeting.

 

You’ll be able to speak with our financial advisers who can explain our PlanHappy Lifestyle Financial Planning process, how it can help you, but most importantly, you can work through what it really is you want to do in retirement.

 

You tell us what you want to do, you tell us your goals and aspirations, and then we start your journey to retirement.

 

✓   Retirement Savings – how much you need to save for retirement
✓   Retirement Date – when you can afford to stop working
✓   Retirement Income – how much you can spend in retirement

 

So, if you’re looking to make sense of pension and retirement planning options with straightforward financial planning advice, we’re here to help.

 

Contact our friendly team on, 033 0133 3035 or use the form below to arrange a call back from one of our experts.

 

Joslin Rhodes Pension & Retirement Planning – Real Advice, For Real People

 

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