Increasing your retirement income

If you're at the point where you've realised you haven't saved enough, don't panic. There are a few things you can do to increase your retirement income.

Pay more, get more

If there’s a gap between how much you’ve saved and how much you’ll need to live on, you could consider increasing the payments you make into your pension.

Remember, your employer is already paying into your pension and you'll get tax benefits on any payments you make.

Also think about putting a one-off payment into your pension - for example if you get a bonus at work.

Investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than what was paid in. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. The information here is based on our understanding in April 2021. Your own circumstances also have an impact on tax treatment.

More about extra payments

Delay retirement

You can normally take your pension benefits from age 55 (may be subject to change), even while you're still working.

But you don’t have to take your pension benefits at your originally selected retirement date - you can delay to a date that suits you. You can also boost the value of your state pension by delaying when you take it.

Our retirement planner can help you plan for your retirement.


Other state benefits

Once you retire you might be able to claim benefits on top of your state pension.

What you’re entitled to depends on your own circumstances and whether you normally live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

Find out more about these benefits at the Citizens Advice Bureau

Working in retirement

You may want or need to supplement your retirement income by continuing to do some work.

If you’re claiming means tested benefits, you need to check whether any extra income would affect your entitlement. And remember, all your income, including your pension, is taxable.



Sheila Russell from Cornwall took early retirement in 1993 and has supplemented her pension income in various ways since.

"I retired from my job as a schools inspector when I was 51, taking my pension as a lump sum and a monthly income. I started to plan for retirement in my 40s when I could afford to make additional payments to my pension effectively buying extra years' service. I didn't expect to retire before I was 60, but I took the opportunity when it was offered."

"I then worked as a consultant for eight years and made private pension payments during this time. This pension now pays me a small income from an annuity."

"I also used to own a holiday cottage, which brought in rental income, and I now work five hours a week, doing the accounts for a local children's nursery."

"Since I turned 60, I've also been able to claim the state pension. I use this for day-to-day expenses, and my other income goes on bigger things like holidays."

"I have some investments that could help pay for long-term care in the future, and I recently moved some of them into fixed interest accounts for more stability."

"I'd advise younger people to keep informed about the Government's changes to pensions, look out for the most tax-efficient ways to save for retirement, and make extra payments early on if you can."