Pension: How is automatic enrolment affected if you work beyond retirement age?

State pension can be received even if the person keeps working past the state pension age, which will reach 66 by October 2020. The government details that it is possible for people to work as long as they want to. There was a previous “default retirement age” policy in place where someone could be forced to retire at the age of 65 but this no longer exists.


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There are some instances where an employer can force an employee to retire which falls under “compulsory retirement age”.

This can only be done under specific circumstances, such as if the job requires certain physical demands or the job itself has an age limit set by the law.

It is entirely possible to claim state pension while working so long as certain requirements are met.

If the person wishes to do this they will need to obviously be of state pension age and have enough national insurance contributions to receive it.

Currently, at least 10 years of national insurance contributions are needed to receive any state pension and 35 years is needed to receive the highest amount, which is currently £168.60.

The main things that will be affected by choosing to work beyond retirement age are personal pensions and tax.

A person will no longer pay national insurance if they continue to work past state pension age.

It is still possible that tax in general will be paid but it will depend on how much income the person receives.

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Various workplace pensions could also be affected by the decision to work in later years. The government details that it is possible to request more flexible or reduced hours for people who may want to slow down.

However, reducing hours could affect how much a person receives from their workplace pensions. The government advises that workers should check on their specific pension plans to see what rules are in place for them.

One of the biggest changes to pension rules in recent years has been the introduction of auto-enrolment.

The new law introduced means that for eligible workers, a small percentage of their wage will be paid into a pension scheme with extra money added on top by the employer.


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It has proven to be a popular piece of legislation for most workers but it does affect older workers in a unique way. As the Money Advice Service detail, if a person is over the state pension age they will not automatically be enrolled by their employer into a workplace pension.

It will still be possible to opt into these schemes up to the age of 74 (depending on earnings) but from the age of 75 the tax benefits of pension savings stop.

Provided that the individual earns a minimum of £6,136 a year they have the right to opt in to the scheme. If they choose to opt in, the employer will be obligated to contribute to the scheme like they would for any other employee.

For people who earn less than the minimum, the employer must provide access to a pension to save if to if requested. However, the employer will not be required to contribute to it

As mentioned, the tax benefits associated with paying into a pension scheme ends when a person turns 75. On top of this, any auto enrolment rules no longer apply to workers aged 75 or over.

However, the government state that there are still options for people of this age. The Money Advice Service provide guidance on how to save money, the best type of savings accounts to use and even tips on how to invest.

There are also several benefits and entitlements aimed specifically for the elderly which include pension credits, housing benefit and support for paying certain bills.

To check on these benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions should be contacted.

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