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I'm near retirement - what are my options?

You decide when you want to retire. Youc could retire when you reach State Pension age or continue working. If you're close to your State Pension age, you can take action to increase your retirement income.


Great Britain changed the law to introduce a new State Pension for men and women who will reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016.

The changes to State Pension are not yet law in Northern Ireland. If the Northern Ireland Assembly passes similar legislation, these changes will be made here and would apply to:

  • men born on or after 6 April 1951
  • women born on or after 6 April 1953

Tip one: boost your State Pension

If you think you might not be in line for a full basic State Pension, it's worth seeing if you can boost it by paying voluntary National Insurance contributions.

Tip two: work longer

There is no fixed retirement age in Northern Ireland. You may be able to boost your retirement income by working a bit longer, or by deferring your State Pension claim – or both.

Tip three: make the most of any personal pensions

Before you take your personal pensions, you get a better deal if you compare with other available pensions:

Know your State Pension age

State Pension age is increasing. Over time, women will have the same State Pension age as men. If you are a woman getting close to retirement, this will affect you.

  • State Pension age is 65 for men born before 6 April 1953
  • State Pension age is 60 for women born on or before 5 April 1950
  • State Pension age for women born on or after 6 April 1950 will increase to 65 by 2018
  • State Pension age for both men and women will increase to 66 between December 2018 and October 2020
  • Changes to the planned increase in State Pension age

The age you can claim your State Pension will be determined by when you were born. You can find out exactly when you will be able to claim your State Pension by using the State Pension calculator:

What are my options?

Your State Pension

State Pension is changing. If you are over 55 you should find out what this means for you.

Track down a lost pension

If you think you may have a pension but can't remember the details you can contact the Pension Tracing Service:

More useful links