Retirement Rules in the UK


The U.K. Government’s DirectGov website reports changing rules regarding retirement and pensions in 2010, taking a number of years to raise the retirement age of both men and women to 68 by 2046. The U.K. Government has rules regarding the different types of pensions available to U.K. citizens and the rights of employers and employees to retire at an agreed-upon age.


  • DirectGov reports the basic state pension is available to all U.K. citizens who have made tax payments called National Insurance (NI) contributions for a specified amount of time. Laws introduced by the U.K. Government in April 2010 reported on the DirectGov website state that to qualify for a full basic pension an individual must have made qualifying NI contributions for 30 years, although making one year's worth of qualifying NI contributions allows a person to receive a portion of the basic state pension in the U.K. The Pensions Advisory Service reports that for privately funded pensions, a U.K. person is entitled by law to begin receiving payments from a pension fund between the ages of 55 and 75. A stakeholder pension is described by DirectGov as a kind of private pension where a person's pension contributions are invested. These types of pensions are monitored by the U.K. Government in order to ensure the investments offer the contributor good value.


  • The charity and campaigning group Age Concern reports that the U.K. has no retirement age, but it does have a pensions age. Age Concern explains that when a person reaches 65 or older, if that is the policy of the company, an employee can be made to retire by an employer. The employee has the right to ask the employer to consider allowing him to work beyond the pensionable age if he feels he can continue working. The employer must consider this request if it is made within the U.K. Government’s guidelines.


  • The DirectGov website reports the U.K. has a series of agreements with countries in the European Union and throughout the rest of the world allowing U.K. citizens who qualify for state pensions to receive their pensions in a country where they wish to retire. Residency rules apply to U.K. citizens who retire to other countries, whereby U.K. citizens who meet residency requirements can have their state pensions paid directly into foreign banks by the U.K. Government.

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