It used to be the case that your employer could force you to retire when you hit 65, whether you wanted to finish working or not.

However, the ‘Default Retirement Age’ was scrapped in April 2011, following a campaign by charity Age UK. Now older workers can, in theory, work for as long as they please.

In fact, a new survey from financial services tech consultancy Dunstan Thomas reveals that nearly 40% of Baby Boomers (those aged 58-75) plan to work beyond the current State Pension age of 66 or 67 by 2028.

Working past the State Pension age might be a wise option if you have outstanding debts to pay or you want to continue topping up your pension.

However, you might equally decide you’re just not ready to leave the workplace just yet.

Whatever the reason, there are certain things you need to know before you decide to delay your retirement.

Can everyone work past their State Pension age?

Most people can work past State Pension age, but there are some exceptions to the rules.

For example, your employer can technically ask you to retire if your job requires you to have certain mental or physical capabilities or if your job has an age limit set by law (e.g., the fire service).

However, the thing to remember is that if your employer asks you to retire, they must give a good reason why. And if you feel you have been treated unfairly, you can take your employer to an employment tribunal.

The State Pension

You can claim State Pension between the age of 66 and 68 depending on your date of birth, regardless of whether you are working or not.

However, many people opt to defer their State Pension payments until they stop work altogether.

One of the benefits of delaying your State Pension is that you get a larger weekly payment when you do eventually start taking it.

Your workplace pension

Many older workers opt to delay retirement in order to boost their pension pots. Even working just a few years extra can make a huge difference.

For example, a 65-year-old worker with a £200,000 workplace pension who adds £200 a month to their pot for five years would be left with more than £334,000, assuming 5% a year growth. (Note that compound interest has been added to this calculation using a compound interest calculator).

However, if you decide to carry on working but on reduced hours, bear in mind it’s likely that the amount you put into your pension will also likely fall.

Before making any decisions, it’s therefore a good idea to check with your employer to see how you might be affected.


One of the perks of working beyond State Pension age is that you no longer have to pay National Insurance, unless you’re self-employed and pay Class 4 National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

However, you will have to pay income tax, depending on how much you earn.

Bear in mind also that drawing a salary, your workplace pension and your state pension at the same time can change the amount of tax you have to pay.

If you’re unsure about your options or how you might be impacted, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with your financial adviser.