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05 Oct 2020
The rising private pension age
Is 57 the new 55?
The pension freedom legislation changes of 2015 saw private pension scheme rules relaxed for millions of pensioners aged 55 and over, allowing them to access their retirement fund and take an income with more flexibility.
However, along with this new flexibility came an announcement of a planned rise in the age at which you can access your private pension, from age 55 to age 57. From 2028, you will have to wait a further two years to can access your private pension.
Why is the private pension age changing?
The government’s aim is to allow individuals access to their private pensions up to ten years before they are entitled to start receiving their state pension. The state pension age is currently 66 but is due to increase to 67 between 2026 and 2028.
The government describes the changes in state pension age as ‘inevitable’, as data shows continual growth in the proportion of the UK population living to age 90. Therefore, changes must be implemented to help us fund an ageing population. There are further plans (those these are still to be confirmed) for the state pension age to increase to age 68 between 2037 and2039, which should also see a further increase in the private pension age, to 58.
Who is affected by the changes?
The above changes do not affect public sector pensions, but any individual with a private pension who is currently aged 49 and under will have to wait a further two, possibly three, years before they can access their private pension. Individuals who are currently in their late 40s who planned to retire or access their private pension at age 55 may now be unable to do so.
Of course, some individuals may have other wealth which would allow them to stop working. A financial planner can review your finances holistically, and advise on whether this is an option for you.