Tax and allowances in retirement

Find out about paying tax if you have retired or receive a pension, and learn about the range of allowances and help that is available.

Income tax rates and personal allowances

As you get older there are age-related allowances that can reduce how much tax you pay. Some allowances are income amounts which aren't taxed. Other allowances reduce your tax bill.

Tax when you get a pension

When you get money from a pension you pay tax on any income above your tax-free Personal Allowance.  How much Income Tax you pay depends on the tax rate that applies to you.

Tax relief on pension contributions

The government encourages you to save for your retirement by giving you tax relief on pension contributions. Tax relief reduces your tax bill or increases your pension fund.

Tax on savings interest

Most people can earn some income from their savings without paying tax. This is called a Personal Savings Allowance which applies to each tax year, from 6 April to 5 April the following year.

Reclaiming overpaid tax on savings

If you think you've paid tax on your savings interest when you didn't need to, or paid more than you should have, you can claim it back. You can download form R40 to do this,  or contact your local tax office or the HMRC Office.

Tax on dividends

You may get a dividend payment if you own shares in a company.

National Insurance contributions

Find out about your National Insurance contributions If you’re employed,  or self-employed when you reach State Pension age. 

Blind Person's Allowance

If you're registered as blind you can claim Blind Person's Allowance. This is an amount of income you can get without paying tax.

Married Couple's Allowance (includes civil partnerships)

Find out if you can claim Married Couple's Allowance if you are married or in a civil partnership.

Maintenance Payments Relief

Maintenance Payments Relief reduces your Income Tax if you make maintenance payments to an ex-spouse or civil partner.

Tax if you're employed and getting a pension

When you get money from a pension you pay tax on any income above your tax-free Personal Allowance.

Retired but starting a new job?

If you start a new job after retiring, your employer will need to tell HMRC so they can make sure that you're paying the right tax.

Tax if you're self-employed and getting a pension

If you're self-employed and getting one or more pensions as well as the State Pension, you'll pay tax in a number of different ways.

Becoming self-employed for the first time

If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader - even if you haven’t yet told HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). You must register and follow the rules for self-employed tax and National Insurance.

If you're self-employed and worried that you're paying too much tax or if you have any other questions about tax and self-employment after State Pension age, you can contact your Tax Office. 

Or, if you're newly self-employed, you can call the Newly Self-Employed Helpline.

Working or self-employed and on a low income?

If you're earning a wage and receiving a pension or you're self-employed and you get a pension but have a low income, you may be able to claim Pension Credit.

If you think you're paying too much tax

If you think you're paying too much tax or shouldn't be paying tax at all, you may be able to claim a tax refund.

Appointing someone to deal with HMRC on your behalf

You can allow someone else to deal with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for you, for example, an accountant, friend or relative.

Tax if you leave the UK to live abroad

You must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you are leaving the UK to live abroad permanently or you’re going to work abroad full-time for at least one full tax year.

Paying tax if you retire in NI after living abroad

Find out if you need to pay UK Income Tax on your foreign income, including income from pensions held overseas.

Contacting your tax office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is responsible for collecting, paying, administering and enforcing taxes. 

Help and advice

The organisations below can provide you with free, independent tax advice. Please note the list isn't exhaustive and the links are to external organisations which are not managed by HMRC.

More useful links




Share this page


Would you like to leave feedback about this page? Send us your feedback