Almost half the over 45s have retired, ABS figures show

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Almost half the over 45s have retired, ABS figures show

More than 40% of people aged 45 years and over are retired from the labour force, according to new figures released by the ABS.

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More than 40% of people aged 45 years and over are retired from the labour force, according to new figures released by the ABS.

The ABS says there are currently 7 million people aged 45 years and over who have worked at some stage, of which 3 million have retired.

Retirees - the numbers

The survey, conducted from August 2004 to June 2005 and relating to people aged 45 years or over who have, at some time, worked for two weeks or more found that at retirement, the main source of income for almost half (44%) of these people was a ‘government pension or allowance’.

It said slightly more women (1.7 million) than men (1.3 million) are retired.
Most of the 3 million retirees (63% or 1.9 million) had worked in the last 20 years.

Just over one-third (34%) of people who had retired in the last 20 years (and who were in the population in 2004-05) ceased their last job when ‘reaching retirement age or being eligible to receive superannuation or the pension’, while more than one-quarter (26%) retired due to ‘sickness, injury or ill health’ and 11% retired due to ‘being retrenched, dismissed or no work available’.

Retirement intentions

There are 3.7 million people aged 45 years and over who are currently in the labour force. While the majority (90%) of these people said they intended to retire, only slightly more than half (53%) have decided when this would be. Men intend to retire on average at 63 years compared to 61 years for women.

Two out of five people (40%) said their ‘personal health or physical abilities’ would influence their decision to retire.

Other influencing factors were ‘financial security’ (36%) and ‘reaching the eligible age for an old age or service pension’ (15%).

Many of the 3.4 million people who intend to retire expect their main income source at retirement to be ‘superannuation or annuity’ (41%), followed by ‘government pension or allowance’ (25%).

ABS said the prevalence of ‘superannuation or annuity’ as the expected main source of income at retirement is consistent with the changes in superannuation legislation over the last two decades and the increase in the number of people participating in superannuation schemes.

Further details can be found in Retirement and Retirement Intentions, August 2004 to June 2005 (cat. no. 6238.0), available free of charge.

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