Retirement age in the UK and state pension age explained

As the default retirement age of 65 has now been phased out there’s often some confusion as to when workers can give up their jobs and spend more time on the golf course. The retirement age in the UK used to differ for men and women but nowadays there’s no stipulated age at which you have to give up work. If you're interested in when you’ll be eligible for the state pension though, read on.

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Age discrimination

You can’t be discriminated against at work because of your age and an employer can’t make you retire when you hit a certain point in your life. The Equality Act 2010 makes sure that if you’re dismissed or looked over for promotion because of your age, you can fight back by complaining to your employer who has an obligation to investigate. If that doesn’t help you can even make a claim in a court or tribunal.

State pension

Even though there’s no stipulated retirement age, people still like to look forward to the day when they can give up work. For some of us, that day’s a long way away but if you’re approaching your 60s you may be giving some thought to lazy mornings away from the office or quiet afternoons away from the stresses of work because the current state pension age is between 61 and 68.

State pension calculator

The best way of assessing when you’ll become eligible for the state pension is to use the state pension calculator at gov.uk/calculate-state-pension, but as a guide women have to be 62 years old to get the state pension and men have to be 65 to get the benefit.


If you’re in your mid to late 30s at the moment, the bad news is that you’ll be 69 before you’re eligible for the state pension. If you’re in your 40s, then you’ll get it when you’re 68. Those in their 50s will have to wait until they reach 66 or 67 depending on their exact age, which explains why the government’s so keen on everyone having a pension in place with their employer.

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