The prospects of an early retirement are disappearing for working age Australians if the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are to be believed.
The new report on Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia 2016-17 reveals that (on average) Australians aged 45 years and over are intending to continue in the labour force until the age of 65 years, which is up from 63 years in a similar survey a decade ago.
“This is consistent with the continuing trend of people staying in the workforce for longer,” said Bruce Hockman, Chief Economist for the ABS. “A decade ago, around 9 per cent of people aged 65 and over were employed. This has increased to around 13 per cent in 2016-17,” he added.
As to the reasons for this increase, financial security (38 per cent) and personal health or physical abilities (21 per cent) remain the most common factors influencing older workers decision to retire. However, just 13 per cent of people cited reaching the eligibility age for an age (or service) pension as a major factor.
The ABS also released information for the 3.6 million people who were already retired, more than half of whom were aged 70 years and over.
One thing the report does show is the rise in the importance of superannuation versus the state pension. Although 47% of persons aged 45 years and over who had already retired reported a 'government pension or allowance' as their main source of income at retirement, only 25% of persons aged 45 years and over who were intending to retire indicated that this would be their main expected source of income at retirement.
Conversely superannuation was reported as the main source of income at retirement by just 24% of retirees, whereas more than half of those who intended to retire (54%) expected that this would be their main source of income at retirement.