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Thinking of working after retirement? You’re not alone.

A surprising proportion of the UK population just isn’t ready to stop once their 60s come around.

For some people, their motivations are financial; they feel they simply haven’t put enough aside for later life.

For others, however, their desires go deeper than their bank balance.

Work can give us a sense of identity and purpose. Why give this up if you don’t want to?

On this page, we’ll explore the world of work after you’ve reached the state pension age.

Can I Work After My Retirement Age?

Some remember echoes of something called the ‘default retirement age’ and fear that they may be forced to stop working. Until April 2011, employers could force their workers to stop working and retire after the age of 65.

For better or worse, this law has since been scrapped. You won’t have to deal with this if you continue to work in 2022.

In most cases, you can keep working for as long as you’d like!

The following circumstances may mean that you’re asked to stop working:

This page maintained by the UK government may be helpful for your research.

Have You Considered a Retirement Course?

Whether you’re desperate to stop working or adamant that you’ll never stop, a retirement course or workshop might be worth considering. The transition into retirement can have a huge impact on a person’s physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.

With the right support, it can be a wonderful and welcome change – it’s just worth making sure you’re ready!

Get to Know Your Pension

If you’re like most of us, the jargon and details of your pension scheme will feel impenetrable and overwhelming. When planning for something as significant as retirement, however, getting to grips with these details is important.

Further down this page, we’ll be discussing a few options and tips about extending your working life past retirement age. For these tips to be worthwhile, you’ll need to know what’s possible with your specific pension.

Your best bet will simply be to get in touch with your provider. In most cases, they’ll be able to talk through everything with you in terms you understand.

If you’re relying exclusively on a state pension, Citizens Advice, Age UK, or the DWP should be able to help.

Phased Retirement

Some people prefer to relax into retirement over a handful of years. They usually reduce their working hours gradually before finally settling into their golden years. If this sounds like a good option for you, discuss it with your boss and see what may be possible.

Keep in mind that they don’t have to accept your request.

So what does this mean for your pension pot? If your provider offers the option, you may be able to choose a phased retirement plan. You’d be able to replace the income lost from your reduced hours with small contributions from your pot.

Returning to Work After Retiring for a Period

Plenty of people retire for a while and then decide that they’re just not ready to stop yet. This can bring a wealth of benefits to the table but isn’t without its drawbacks. The main thing to think about is the effect your increased income will have on your taxes.

If you continue to receive payments from your pension while working, your increased income may push you into a higher tax bracket. This is worth thinking about before making any big decisions.

Worried About Tax? Talk to An Accountant

While doing your own research is never a bad thing, there are some decisions in life that simply need the help of a professional. Unless you’re fiscally minded, talking to an accountant about your situation is usually the right way to go.

There are myriad factors that can influence the taxes, income, and roadblocks you’re likely to face. Having a professional look at your specific situation is the best way to ensure you’re doing the right thing.

Retirement and working past retirement age are big decisions; they should be treated with the respect they deserve.

The Advantages of Working After Retirement

There’s a mountain of different reasons for continuing to work after retirement age. What’s worth mentioning at this stage is that they’re not all financially motivated! In this section, we’ll explore some of the main advantages to this decision.

It’s Great for the Mind

If you stop lifting weights, your muscles will begin to get smaller. If you stop using your brain, you may find that you experience negative effects. Staying in an engaging, proactive work environment can be a phenomenal way to give your brain the exercise it needs.

It should of course be noted here that staying at work isn’t the only way to keep the mind active. There are plenty of choices you can make that don’t involve a 9-5, from volunteering to enjoying retirement through the exploration of new activities and hobbies.

It Can Bolster Your Social Life

This will of course depend on your specific workplace, but many work environments have a healthy social network of employees and peers. For some, staying at work is a great way to maintain contact with these people.

Group drinks, social events, and other celebrations are a huge part of what makes life worth living. If the social culture of your workplace is important to you, continuing to work might not sound like a bad idea.

Returning to Work Can Be a Whole New Chapter

For those who are returning to work after a period of retirement, this decision can usher in an invigorating new chapter in their lives. Imagine starting a new business, carving out a new career path, or climbing the ladder at your old place of work!

These are all huge decisions with their own mountains to climb, but they can really pay off if you know what you’re doing. Being older than 60 doesn’t have to be the ‘end’ of your usefulness. There’s a whole world out there!

Thinking of retraining for the workplace? See the following article.

Nothing Boosts Income Like a Steady Job

While this one may seem obvious, it’s also one of the most significant advantages to staying in work. Continuing to work for a few more years can allow you to build up the savings you need before stopping for good.

If you’ve established a good phased retirement plan, your work income can be a fantastic supplement to your finances. If you’ve talked through things with an accountant, you should be able to keep your tax obligations to a minimum.

Remember to talk to your boss about your retirement plans and get a clear idea of your finances before making any big decisions.

The Drawbacks of Working After Retirement

Every decision in life comes with its own ups and downs. In this section, we’ll explore some of the potential drawbacks to staying in the workforce.

Tax Implications

Continuing to work after retirement age can significantly boost your income. When combined with your pension withdrawals, however, this can push you into a higher tax bracket and take more money than you’d like off the table.

So, how much can a pensioner earn before paying tax? Money received from both employment and pensions is considered as income in the UK. This means that they’re taxable.

Everyone in the country gets a personal allowance each year, which is tax-free. All money earned after this allowance is taxed, usually at 20%.

The more you earn from your combined employment and pension, the more likely it is that your taxes will go up. It’s worth taking stock of your income sources and checking how things might change if you decide to keep working.

We strongly recommend talking to an accountant before making significant financial decisions.

It Can Have a Huge Impact on Your Body

Whether you’re lifting heavy objects on a construction site or sitting for nine-hour stints at a computer, most jobs can have a significant impact on the body. How’s your overall health? Can you manage another few years at work?

Be honest with yourself about which decision will be best for you. Consult with your doctor whenever possible.

It Eats Into Your Free Time

At this stage in your life, you’ll be well aware of how much pressure a job can place on you. If your partner is already retired, it’s worth having a frank discussion with them about how much time you expect to have with each other.

You need the space to enjoy life’s little things too. Sometimes a job can ask too much of us.

The Workforce May Have Changed

If you’re returning to work after a period of retirement, be ready to adapt to some significant changes. The training, skills, and experience you’ll need may have altered considerably since you were last at work.

If you’re prepared to take the right courses and hop back on the wagon, that’s great! Just don’t expect everything to be plain sailing along the way.

Final Thoughts

The good news here is that if you want to keep working, you’ll usually be able to. Retirement is a big decision and it’s up to you when you stop and no one else. Our main advice is to talk to an accountant before making any big financial decisions.

Everyone’s situation is different and your circumstances alone will determine which tax obstacles you’ll need to navigate. Good luck!


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