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Can I retire at 60 and claim State Pension?

Can I retire at 60 and claim State Pension?
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You probably know about the UK State Pension, but if you are wondering whether you can retire at 60 and claim State Pension, this article gives you answers.

How does the State Pension work?

The UK State Pension is a type of pension paid to you by the government when you reach pensionable age.

Not everyone will receive the same amount. It will be dependent on your National Insurance (NI) contributions.

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 1951 if you are a man, or 6 April 1953 if you are a woman, then you are entitled to the basic State Pension.

Anyone born after this date will claim the new State Pension.

What is the new State Pension?

The UK government introduced a new system effective from 6 April 2016.

To be eligible, you will need at least 10 qualifying years of NI contributions. To receive the full new State Pension, you will need 35 qualifying years. These years do not have to be consecutive.

In the tax year 2020/21, the full new State Pension is £175.20 per week.

When can I claim it?

You can claim it when you reach State Pension age. So, if you are wondering whether you can retire at 60 and claim State Pension, unfortunately, the answer is no.

From October 2020, the earliest age at which you can receive the State Pension is 66 for both men and women.

The government has been gradually increasing the age at which retirees can claim, and it will continue to do so in the future. More information is provided in the proposed new timetable for State Pension age increases

The best way to find out when you can claim your State Pension is to use the government’s ‘Check your State Pension age’ tool.

Can I claim before retirement age?

You will not be able to claim the State Pension before retirement age.

However, you will be able to draw from your workplace pension or a private pension if you have one. You can do this from 55 onwards.

Do I have to stop working when I reach retirement age?

Not at all. Employers used to have the right to force their employees to retire when they reached the age of 65, also known as the Default Retirement Age.

This law was abolished in April 2011, so employees can now continue to work beyond their retirement age.

However, there are specific exceptions whereby your employer can force you to retire by law. This can happen if:

  • Your job requires a certain level of mental or physical fitness

  • An age limit has been predetermined by another law

If you are in this situation, your employer must give enough notice and follow a fair procedure.

Can I delay payment?

Yes, you can. When you are near your State Pension age, you will be given the choice to claim or defer payments.

So, if you are still working, you may want to defer your payments to when you finally stop.

Alternatively, you could choose to claim the State Pension while you are still working.

Take home

Can you retire at 60 and claim State Pension? Sadly, the answer is no.

However, if you have another type of pension, you could use this income from age 60 until you reach the State Pension age.

Further information on the UK State Pension is available on the gov.uk website.

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