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State pension: You can claim while working but you may be forced to retire – rules defined


State pension income can be claimed by those who have reached their state pension age, which is currently 66 for most people. To be eligible for a state pension, at least 10 years of National Insurance contributions will be needed, with 35 years required for the full amount of £179.60 per week.

Generally, state pensions can be received while a person is working as a “default retirement age” no longer exists.

People can usually work for as long as they work but there are some exceptions to this.

In some cases, employers can force their staff to retire at a certain age, known as the “compulsory retirement age.”

Should this be utilised, strong reasoning will be needed to support the decision.

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This is important to note as state pensions are not paid out automatically, they will need to be claimed.

If a person is not ready to retire, they can defer their state pension claim which may increase the payments down the line.

A state pension will increase for every week it is deferred, so long as the person defers for at least nine weeks.

State pensions will increase by the equivalent of one percent for every nine weeks of deferment.

When a person reaches their state pension age they’ll no longer have to pay National Insurance, regardless of whether they claim their pension.

However, it should be noted state pensions are treated as earned income for income tax purposes, and so they could raise tax costs.

Generally, people don’t pay income tax unless their income goes over the personal allowance of £12,570.

Beyond this, people may be levied with basic rate (20 percent), higher rate (40 percent) and/or additional rate (45 percent) tax bills.


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