What is my retirement age?

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Knowing your retirement age is important because you can use it as a target for when you can stop working. It’s important to note, however, that if you set your retirement age early, it might not be the same as the age you can claim either your individual or state pension. On this page, you’ll learn what the current retirement age in the UK is, how to claim your state pension and some ways you can save for your retirement.

Key takeaways
  • The current retirement age in the UK for both men and women is 65

  • You’ll receive a letter four months before your expected retirement date, which will detail how to claim your state pension

  • The pension age in the UK is gradually increasing because of government plans to ease the financial burden posed by growing numbers of pensioners

What is the retirement age in the UK?

There is no longer a forced retirement age in the UK. Since 2011, the law states that you can work for as long as you want, instead of being made to stop at the age of 65. There is a pension age in place, which means that when you hit this age, you’ll have access to a state pension and any other pensions you are eligible for. As of 2024, the pension age is 66.

When will I get my state pension?

You can claim your state pension when you reach your pension age, which is currently 66 for both men and women.

If you live in the UK, you won’t automatically receive a state pension when you reach your pension age. In most cases, you’ll receive a letter four months before you’re expected to retire, which will include details on how to claim your state pension.

How do I calculate my retirement age?

To find out when you can qualify for your state pension and be of retirement age, you can use this state pension age calculator from the government’s website. Using this tool will allow you to check when you’ll reach your state pension age, your pension credit qualifying age and when you’ll be eligible for free bus travel. All you need to do is input your date of birth, and the calculator will determine the rest for you.

Is the retirement age changing?

Yes, the retirement age is gradually increasing. The state pension age is regularly reviewed to make sure it’s affordable and fair. The state pension age for men and women will increase to 67 between 2026 and 2028. And under the current law, the state pension age is planned to increase to 68 between the years 2044 and 2046, although this is yet to be confirmed.

The following tables show how the UK will be affected, and how your date of birth will determine your pension age:

Increase in state pension age from 66 to 67, men and women

Date of birthState Pension age reached
6 April 1960 – 5 May 196066 years and 1 month
6 May 1960 – 5 June 196066 years and 2 months
6 June 1960 – 5 July 196066 years and 3 months
6 July 1960 – 5 August 196066 years and 4 months
6 August 1960 – 5 September 196066 years and 5 months
6 September 1960 – 5 October 196066 years and 6 months
6 October 1960 – 5 November 196066 years and 7 months
6 November 1960 – 5 December 196066 years and 8 months
6 December 1960 – 5 January 196166 years and 9 months
6 January 1961 – 5 February 196166 years and 10 months
6 February 1961 – 5 March 196166 years and 11 months
6 March 1961 – 5 April 197767 years

Increase in state pension age from 67 to 68, men and women

Date of birthState Pension age reached
6 April 1977 – 5 May 19776 May 2044
6 May 1977 – 5 June 19776 July 2044
6 June 1977 – 5 July 19776 September 2044
6 July 1977 – 5 August 19776 November 2044
6 August 1977 – 5 September 19776 January 2045
6 September 1977 – 5 October 19776 March 2045
6 October 1977 – 5 November 19776 May 2045
6 November 1977 – 5 December 19776 July 2045
6 December 1977 – 5 January 19786 September 2045
6 January 1978 – 5 February 19786 November 2045
6 February 1978 – 5 March 19786 January 2046
6 March 1978 – 5 April 19786 March 2046
6 April 1978 onwards68th birthday

Why does the retirement age change?

The UK is a well-developed country, and just like most developed countries, our population is starting to be disproportionately ageing. It’s estimated that by 2042, 24% of the people living in the UK will be aged 65 or older. The ratio of working people to pensioners is shifting more towards pensioners, resulting in a steady increase in the weight of financial burden on those who are working.

To preserve intergenerational fairness, the state pension age is increasing as the life expectancy improves. The current life expectancy in the UK at birth in 2018 to 2020 (the latest data available, as of 2023) was 79.0 years for males and 82.9 years for females. However, it’s the government’s policy that people should work for roughly two-thirds of their adult life, and enjoy the remaining one third in retirement.

How retirement ages compare around the world

Unless you’re already retired, if you live in the UK, the state pension age is 66, but this is set to rise to to 67 between 2026 and 2028. The UK has one of the highest retirement ages in the world, and will join other countries with the joint highest retirement age once this has increased to 67.

The top 5 countries with the lowest retirement age:

Namibia: 50

Cameroon: 50

Sri Lanka: 55

Indonesia: 58

China: 50 for women, 60 for men

The top 5 countries with the highest retirement age:

Australia, Denmark, Greece, Israel and Iceland jointly have the highest retirement age in the world, at 67.

How do I claim my state pension?

There are often three ways to claim your pension, which are:

How else can I save for retirement?

There are plenty of ways to save for your retirement. One common method is applying for a personal pension, or a workplace pension if your employer offers this scheme. Workplace pensions are tax-efficient as they allow you to contribute to your pension through your monthly salary. Your employer will automatically contribute on your behalf when deducting pension contributions from your salary.

Another way to save is through investing, although this comes with more risk. Investing in stocks and shares is generally considered a long-term strategy, and while that can be very profitable, your returns aren’t guaranteed, and you could lose all your investments.

A safer way to save for retirement is by opening a savings account, especially one offering competitive interest rates. You won’t be at risk of losing your savings, as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects deposits into savings accounts offered by UK-regulated banks.