Are you paying unnecessary tax on your State Pension?

8 May 2019

If you decide to continue working past the State Pension age, you could be paying unnecessary tax. 

You may have failed to take up the option of deferring your State Pension until you stopped work and as a result, your entire State Pension will be taxed, in some cases at 40%.

If you defer taking your State Pension, you would also receive a higher pension when you do eventually retire, and your Personal Tax Allowance would then cover all or most of their State Pension, dramatically reducing the amount of tax they have to pay on their pension. 

Those who defer their State Pension can receive an extra 5.8% per year on their pension for the rest of their life for each year that they defer. 

Comparing someone who draws their State Pension immediately while going on working, with someone who waits for a year until they have retired before drawing their State Pension, the research finds:

  • A man who defers for a year and has an average life expectancy at 65 of 86 will be around £3,000 better of over retirement than someone who takes his State Pension immediately and pays more tax 
  • A woman who defers for a year and has an average life expectancy at 65 of 88 will be around £4,000 better off. As well as the tax advantage, she also enjoys two extra years of pension at the higher rate

If you have already started to draw your State Pension, you do have the option of ‘un-retiring’. All you need to do is tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to stop paying your State Pension and then resume receiving it at a higher rate once you stop work.

There has been a significant increase in the number of people working past the age of 65, and most of these people are claiming their State Pension as soon as it is available. This means every penny of their State Pension is being taxed, in some cases at the higher rate. If an individual’s earnings are enough to support them, it could make sense to consider deferring taking a State Pension so that less of their pension disappears in tax. 

Want to discuss your future retirement plans?

Traditional retirements are a thing of the past. We’re living longer and have more flexible income options to make our money work harder at retirement. If you would like to discuss any elements of your future retirement plans, please speak to Chris Slatter on cslatter@ellacotts.co.uk or 01295 250401.