This is probably a question that's been on many people's lips for a number of years! Of course we can't deal with when you should retire (that will depend on your own personal circumstances), but we can tell you when you can start taking your state and personal pensions.
One thing to say before we go on - a lot of the information displayed here is based on current and planned changes to the age at which you can take your pension. Therefore, you should keep an eye on developments to make sure you don't have to work longer than you were expecting to!
The Government is looking to increase the State Pension age to 67 by 2028 and to 68 in the future.
You don't have to claim your State Pension as soon as you are eligible to take it. If you choose to defer when you receive your State Pension, you can either receive extra pension or receive a one-off lump sum (which is taxable).
There is now no maximum age by which you need to take an income from your pension pot (previously it was 75). But if you continue to pay in to your pension after age 75, you will no longer get any tax relief of your contributions. You can take your personal pension regardless of whether you are receiving the State Pension and/or are still working.
Although you can take your pension at any point from the age of 55, you should bear in mind that your pension provider may manage your pension by taking into account when they expect you to retire. Usually, anything up to a decade before you retire your pension provider will move your pot from riskier investments to safer ones in order to protect the gains you will have made over your lifetime. This is sometimes called "lifestyling". This applies to all stakeholder pensions and to some personal pensions, but not all of them.
However, if you're not planning to retire until later, it may be an idea to tell your pension provider so that you can continue to benefit from higher potential returns for longer (although this, of course, comes with the higher risk of your pension fund losing value, if an investment performs badly).
There is no obligation to buy an annuity at any time. You can choose not to purchase an annuity and can keep your pension invested, taking a part of it each year as an income instead, or just living off the investment growth. You can find out more about annuities by reading our guide on the subject.
Read more about annuities: Guide: How to choose the best annuity
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.
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