Retirement Age

Published:  29 Oct at 7 PM
In many jobs and industries such as those in the military or those who work in more mentally or physically skilled positions such as pilots, there is a mandatory retirement age. This means that when an individual which holds one of these positions reaches a set age, they are let go by their employer and forced to retire. In recent years this common practice has been widely criticised as being a form of age discrimination in a time when the life expectancy particularly in the UK is increasing year by year.

As a result of this criticism, in April of 2011 the government abolished forced retirement which means that the decision to retire will be up to you when you feel the time is right, as opposed to being a decision for your employers. Many people reach 60 or 65 still very much capable of performing their jobs successfully and with these recent new rules they now have the option to continue doing so. However, research has shown that an increasing number of people are opting for a half-way point between retirement and full-time employment (referred to as part-tirement), which is essentially just continuing their previous job but in a part-time capacity.

Unfortunately in this day and age, particularly for the younger generation, by the time most of us reach retirement age we won’t be able to rely on our state pension - both due to the rate of inflation and the increasing retirement age meaning that the state pension is going to become available later and later in a persons life. Whilst the conservative-liberal democrat government have removed the forced retirement rules, they also followed this with an announcement that the retirement age will have increased to 66 within the next 25 years. But with an aging population and an enormous budget deficit, some government critics and indeed just economists have stated that they believe that the official state retirement age may even be increased to as high as 70 in years to come.

However, it is important to remember that this is just the national government-funded state pension that allows you to retire at 65. The previous government had already changed the age at which individuals can start accessing their private pensions from 50 to 55, meaning that even though this is your own personal savings account you can’t access it for another 5 years. Many people think that the reason behind this was to ensure that individuals will not spend their pension as early making them less reliant on the national state pension when they reach 65. This means that depending on the form of pensions you have, you may be able to retire in the UK as early as 55 - 10 years before the official retirement date that qualifies you for the state pension allowance.

If you are planning to retire abroad, your retirement age will depend on whether you are planning to leave your pension fund in the UK. If you are leaving your pension in a UK fund, you will still need to be 55 to be able to access it but if you decide to transfer your pension into a QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme), the age will depend on the regulations of your QROPS country.