The number of over 65s has reached a record level, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number of over 65s now in work stands at 1.468 million in April to June 2022, up 173,000 from the previous quarter (January to March 2022).

As the cost-of-living rises, and markets turn volatile, more older people are returning to work in order to fund their everyday lives.

But there is also a longer-term trend at play – the number of over 65s in work has risen steadily since 2014 as per the ONS figures.

But what are the pitfalls of working past ‘retirement’ age? The truth is that the line between working age and retiring is definitely blurring, but there are still some important aspects to consider if you’ve decided to keep working for longer.

Here are some key considerations with regards to wealth and tax.

Money Purchase Annual Allowance

The Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) is a key consideration if you choose to work later in life, and have access to your pension (i.e., over the age of 56).

When you contribute to your pension during your working career, you’re allowed to save up to £40,000 a year into your retirement pots, or 100% of your annual income if below this level.

However, once you reach pension freedom age, currently 55, and you access pension funds, the MPAA kicks in.

The MPAA is currently £4,000. This means once you’ve drawn down funds from a pension, you are only allowed to contribute back in a maximum of £4,000. This includes personal, workplace and employer contributions.

If you are around pension freedoms age, continuing to work and don’t necessarily need your pension cash, it can be wise to leave it untouched to prevent the MPAA kicking in. This will allow you to continue accruing valuable employer contributions and tax relief on your pension savings.

If the MPAA has kicked in, it could be more tax efficient to save into an ISA instead. This will give you an annual tax-free savings limit of £24,000 (£4,000 for pension and £20,000 for ISA).

State pension deferral

Once you reach State Pension age you will be entitled to claim the valuable benefit, assuming you have accrued enough National Insurance Contributions (NICs) in your working life.

The age at which you can take State Pension used to be 65 for men and 60 for women. This has however now been equalised between genders and is in the process of rising to 68. You can find when you become eligible by using the Government website.

If you are eligible but have yet to take your pension, or are soon to be eligible – it can be a very good option to defer receipt of the benefit, if you can live without it.

This is because the longer you defer your payments, the higher your future pay outs will be. The State Pension increases by the equivalent of 1% for every nine weeks of deferral. This means for every year you don’t claim, you’ll get around 5.8% more when you do begin to claim.

For instance, if you’re eligible for the full weekly amount of £185.15, deferring it by 12 months will mean an extra £10.70 a week if you begin claiming one year after reaching full entitlement. Over a year, that adds up to an extra £128.40.

These figures are however purely an example – in practice the State Pension is uprated using the triple lock calculation each year so deferral will most likely lead to higher extra payments in future.

No National Insurance

Once you do reach State Pension age, you will no longer be liable to pay National Insurance (NI) contributions.

Any money you earn won’t be liable to NI contributions, which will mean ultimately, you’ll get more money in your pay packet at the end of the month. Pension income, likewise, doesn’t have any NI liabilities. You are however still obliged to pay income tax on any earnings – be they salary or State Pension income.

If you’d like to discuss any of the rules or tax implications for your wealth, don’t hesitate to get in touch to talk about your options.

Any opinions stated are honestly held but are not guaranteed and should not be relied upon.
The information contained in this document is not to be regarded as an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of any offer to buy or sell, any investments or products.
The content of this document is for information only. It is advisable that you discuss your personal financial circumstances with a financial adviser before undertaking any investments.
All the data contained in the communication is believed to be reliable but may be inaccurate or incomplete. Unless otherwise specified all information is produced as of 20th October 2022.