Retirement and debt

Many people today are retiring with less money and more debt. But it can be harder to repay mortgages, credit cards or other loans on a fixed retirement income.

If you're worried about debt management and retirement, you could consider these options.

Delay retirement

Since the government phased out the default retirement age, you can carry on working for as long as you're lucky enough to stay healthy and employed.

And if you're working, you’re earning money that you can use to repay your debts. Plus, if you are able to keep paying into your pension plan you could have more money to put towards a retirement income - such as an annuity - later on.

But remember, you can't guarantee yourself more money by retiring later because pension investments can drop in value and annuity rates can worsen.

If you're thinking about delaying retirement, we recommend you seek advice.

Work part time

Taking a part-time job or reducing your hours can help you repay your debts before you retire fully. Our latest Real Retirement report reveals that almost a fifth of over-65s rely on a wage as a source of income.

Or if you're not ready to give up work completely, working part time can give you extra cash to spend or save in retirement.

Can I still claim my pension if I carry on working?

State pension

If you're still working full or part time when you reach state pension age:

  • You can start claiming your state pension without stopping work
  • You no longer have to pay National Insurance contributions
  • You can choose to defer your state pension if you want to.

Find out more at www.gov.uk/calculate-state-pension.

Work or personal pensions

You may be able to claim work or personal pensions while you’re still working. It depends on your employer or pension company.

Release money from your home

A lifetime mortgage lets you unlock cash from your home to help fund your retirement.

You can carry on living in your home, and you don't have to repay anything unless you leave the property and move into long-term care.

If you're thinking about equity release, you should always get financial advice.

And remember:

  • Interest builds up on the original loan and any interest added, so the amount you owe quickly adds up.
  • You can choose to protect some of the money in your property, but a lifetime mortgage will always reduce the amount of inheritance you can leave.
  • A lifetime mortgage may affect your tax position or welfare benefits.

This is a lifetime mortgage. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration.

Find out whether you're eligible for our lifetime mortgages.

Where can I go for retirement debt advice?

Visit the Step Change debt charity or the Citizens Advice Bureau for free debt guidance.

Or talk to a financial adviser about managing your money in retirement. If you don’t have an adviser, you can find one near you at www.unbiased.co.uk.

Back to top