What age can I retire?

The simple truth is that you can usually retire when you have enough money.

Sounds obvious. But many people still believe that they have to retire at a date set by someone else. And some people think the age they get their state pension is their retirement age. 

 

When you can retire will depend on a number of things.

So, let's have a look at how things work

Firstly, it’s important to know that there’s no longer a ‘retirement age’. Employers can’t force people to retire at a certain age and you can normally continue to work for as long as you like. If your employer asks you about your retirement plans you don’t have to give them any information at all if you don’t want to. It’s entirely your decision.

Your “retirement date” on your pension isn’t a fixed date. When you took out your personal or company pension you probably had to select a ‘retirement date’. Companies use this to work out when to send you key information about your pension. However, you aren’t ‘held to’ this date at all in terms of when you want to take money from your pension.

You can usually take money out of your pension at any time from the age of 55 – new rules came in a few years back, giving you more freedom and choice about how to take your money.

Check out when you’ll get your State Pension – although you can take money from your personal or company pension from age 55, the State Pension is different. Your State Pension age depends on your year of birth and your gender. To find out more about when you could receive this visit gov.uk/statepension.

You can continue to work and take money from a pension. It can be quite a shock to the system having worked for so long and then suddenly stopping. It can also be a fairly daunting prospect. Being able to gradually cut down hours and adjust is how more people now approach retirement. And they can top up their reducing income by taking some money from their pension if they need to.


Inspiration - The Entrepreneur

When Michelle Bateman was made redundant in her early 60s she knew that a traditional retirement of 'taking it easy' wouldn't suit her active lifestyle. She decided to follow her passion for dogs and to turn that into a new business.

Although not always an easy path, Michelle found the confidence to set up 'Woof Treats' and has turned her company into a thriving and continually growing business.

Feeling overwhelmed?

It is easy to feel overwhelmed at times – there’s a lot to think about. Working out when you’ll have enough money to retire is often hugely complex. Having lots of different pensions from previous employers can make it even more complicated. And just understanding how much money you’ll need throughout your retirement can be mind boggling. What to do with our pensions and life savings and how we support ourselves are huge fundamental decisions but there’s no need to think about any of this on your own.