Retirement & Retirement Intentions, Australia
Survey results released on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
A survey conducted by the ABS on the retirement and retirement intentions of Australians aged from 45 years and over (in age groupings) provide for an interesting read. The survey is named Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). Below are some of the key findings from the survey.
The 2016–17 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) found that 64% of those aged 65–69 years were retired, with 82% of 70 years and over were retired. Just over half of all retired persons were aged 70 years and over (56% of retired men and 52% of retired women) (Table 1).
RETIRED FROM THE LABOUR FORCE
Age at retirement
The average age at retirement from the labour force for persons aged 45 years and over in 2016–17 was 55.3 years (58.8 years for men and 52.3 years for women). Of the 1.6 million men who had retired from the labour force (Table 3):
- 25% had retired aged less than 55 years;
- 46% had retired aged 55–64 years; and
- 29% had retired aged 65 years and over.
The 1.9 million women who had retired from the labour force had retired on average at a younger age than men. The ages at which women retirees had retired from the labour force were as follows (Table 3):
- 46% had retired aged less than 55 years;
- 39% had retired aged 55–64 years; and
- 15% had retired aged 65 years and over.
The average age at retirement for recent retirees (those who have retired in the last five years) was 62.9 years. Within this group, there was a difference between the retirement age of men and women, with women retiring a little younger than men (the average retirement ages for this group were 63.6 years for men and 62.1 years for women) (Table 3).
Reasons for ceasing last job
Among both retired men and women whose last job was less than 20 years ago, a commonly reported main reason for ceasing their last job was ‘reached retirement age/eligible for superannuation/pension’ (36% of men and 22% of women). These persons had average retirement ages of 63.5 years (64.1 years for men and 62.7 years for women). Other commonly reported main reasons given by persons for ceasing their last job were ‘own sickness, injury or disability’ (21% of men and 12% of women) and ‘retrenched/dismissed/no work available’ (7% of men and 5% of women) (Table 5).
Sources of income during retirement
For men who have retired, commonly reported main sources of personal income were ‘government pension/allowance’ (49%) and ‘superannuation/annuity/allocated pension’ (33%). For women who have retired, commonly reported main sources of personal income were also ‘government pension/allowance’ (45%) and ‘superannuation/annuity/allocated pension’ (17%). For persons who have retired, just under half (37%) of women reported ‘partner’s income’ as their main source of funds for meeting living costs compared to 9% of men (Table 6).
INTENTIONS TO RETIRE FROM THE LABOUR FORCE
Of the 4.9 million persons in the labour force aged 45 years and over, 3.9 million (79%) indicated that they intended to retire from the labour force in the future.
For employed persons who intended to retire from the labour force, 69% worked full-time. Of full-time workers, 34% intended to move into part-time work before retiring from the labour force, and 32% intended to continue with full-time work until retiring from the labour force (Table 1).
Age intends to retire
Of the 3.9 million persons in the labour force who indicated that they intended to retire from the labour force, 1.6 million persons (40%) did not know the age at which they would retire (36% of men and 44% of women). Of those who did indicate an age (Table 9):
- 20% intended to retire 70 years and older (22% of men and 18% of women);
- 50% intended to retire between 65 and 69 years (53% of men and 47% of women);
- 23% intended to retire between 60 and 64 years (19% of men and 27% of women); and
- 7% intended to retire between 45 and 59 years (6% of men and 8% of women).
The average age at which persons intended to retire was 65 years (65.5 years for men and 64.4 years for women) (Table 9).
Main factor influencing decision about when to retire
For those in the labour force who intended to retire, the most common main factors influencing their decision about when they would retire were ‘financial security’ (41% of men and 34% of women), ‘personal health or physical abilities’ (21% for both men and women), and ‘reaching the eligibility age for an age (or service) pension’ (13% for both men and women) (Table 9).
Although ‘superannuation/annuity/allocated pension’ was reported as their main source of income at retirement by just 24% of retirees, just over half of those who intended to retire (54%) expected that this would be their main source of income at retirement.
Similar differences emerged for main (expected) source of funds for meeting living costs at retirement. While only 6% of those intending to retire expected to rely on ‘partner’s income’, this was reported as the main source of funds for meeting living costs by 24% of retirees.
– Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, July 2016 to June 2017 (6238.0). Released 18/12/2017. Read ABS release.
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