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4914.0.55.001 - Age Matters, Jun 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2008   
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Image: Latest Findings

LATEST FINDINGS

Retirement and Retirement Intentions
Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation
Older people's involvement in sport


RETIREMENT AND RETIREMENT INTENTIONS

In 2006-07, there were 2.1 million people aged 65 years and over who reported that they were retired from the labour force. This group comprised approximately 982,000 men and 1.1 million women.

For those aged 45-49 years, just 6% were retired, compared with 23% of 55-59 year olds, 75% of 65-69 year olds and 95% of those aged 70 years and over.

Persons aged 45 years and over, Labour Force and retirement status, By age
Graph: Persons aged 45 years and over, Labour force and retirement status—by age

There were more men aged 65 years and over (159,000) in the labour force than women of the same age (66,800). Conversely, there were more women who had retired than men, partly reflecting the fact that there are more women in the older age groups than men, and also reflecting the fact that women tend to retire earlier than men.

The average age at retirement from the labour force for people aged 45 years and over in 2006-07 was 52 years (58 years for men and 48 years for women). Of the 1.4 million men who retired from the labour force:
  • 53% had retired aged 55-64 years;
  • 27% had retired aged less than 55 years; and
  • 20% had retired aged 65 years and over.

The 1.7 million women who retired from the labour force had retired on average at a younger age than men. The ages at which already retired women had retired from the labour force were as follows:
  • 58% had retired aged less than 55 years;
  • 35% had retired aged 55-64 years; and
  • 7% had retired aged 65 years and over.

Persons retired from the Labour Force, Age at retirement (years), By sex
Graph: Persons Retired from the Labour Force, Age at retirement (years)—by sex

Among both retired men and women whose last job was less than 20 years ago, the most commonly reported main reason for ceasing their last job was 'reached retirement age/eligible for superannuation/pension' (42% of men and 28% of women).

Of the 3.1 million people aged 45 years or over who were retired from the labour force, 1.6 million (52%) had made contributions to a superannuation scheme. Men were more likely to have made contributions to a superannuation scheme than women. More than two-thirds (67%) of retired men aged 45 years and over had contributed compared with 41% of women. Of those who had made contributions, 63% had received all or part of their superannuation funds as a lump sum payment (64% of men and 61% of women). Many of those who received a lump sum payment used it to pay off or improve their existing home or purchase a new home (36% of men and 31% of women), to buy or pay off a motor vehicle (17% of men and 11% of women), or clear other outstanding debts (12% of men and 13% of women). Some reinvested their lump sum payment into an approved deposit fund, deferred annuity or other superannuation scheme (22% of men and 14% of women), or a bank account, personal savings or other investment (26% of men and 18% of women).

Of the 3.2 million people in the labour force who indicated that they intend to retire from the labour force, 1.3 million people (or 40%) did not know what age they would retire (36% of men and 44% of women). Of those who did indicate an age:
  • 11% intend to retire aged 70 years and over (14% of men and 7% of women);
  • 38% intend to retire aged 65-69 years (44% of men and 30% women);
  • 33% intend to retire aged 60-64 years (29% of men and 38% of women);
  • 16% intend to retire aged 55-59 years (2% of men and 21% of women); and
  • 2% intend to retire aged 45-54 years (0.7% of men and 4% of women).

Further details can be found in Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, July 2006 to June 2007 (cat. no. 6238.0).

BARRIERS AND INCENTIVES TO LABOUR FORCE PARTICIPATION

Of the 1.3 million people who wanted a job or more hours and were available to start work within four weeks, an estimated 800,600 people (61%) indicated that they were not looking for a job or more hours. Most of this group were women (512,400 or 64%) and most were not in the labour force (695,600 or 87%). More than one-quarter (28%) of people aged 55 years and over reported that the main reason for not looking for work or more hours was being considered too old by employers.

There were 337,700 people who wanted a job or more hours but who were not available to do so. Most of these (85%) were not in the labour force, while the remaining 15% comprised people who worked less than 16 hours. About two-thirds (216,000 or 64%) of those who wanted work or more hours but were not available were women. The reason given by people for their unavailability varied by age, reflecting the fact that the reasons tend to change across the stages of the life cycle. For people aged 55 years and over 'long-term sickness or injury' was their most commonly reported main reason (34%).

Persons who wanted a job or work with more hours, But were not available(a), Age by selected main reason not available to start work/more hours

Graph: Persons who wanted a job or work with more hours, but were not available, Age by selected main reason not available to start work/more hours


The average preferred number of hours for people not in the labour force who wanted a job and from people who usually worked less than 16 hours and wanted to work more was 21 (25 hours for men and 20 hours for women). For people aged 55 years and over who usually worked less than 16 hours preferred to work less hours than their younger counterparts. For instance, the average preferred number of hours for people aged 55 years and over was 25 hours per week, compared with 29 hours for those aged 18-24 years.

Just under three-quarters of people (74%) who were not in the labour force and did not want to work were aged 55 years and over.

Persons not in the labour force who did not want to work, Age and sex distribution
Graph: Persons not in the Labour Force who did not want to work, Age and sex distribution

Of the 4 million people not in the labour force who did not want to work, the most commonly reported main reason for not wanting a job was 'permanently retired/will not work full time again' (34% or 1.3 million), followed by 'no need/satisfied with current arrangements/retired from full-time work (for now) (22% or 859,600), and 'long-term sickness or disability' (19% or 752,000).

Further details can be found in Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Australia, Jul 2006 to Jun 2007 (cat. no. 6239.0).
OLDER PEOPLE'S INVOLVEMENT IN SPORT

In the 12 months prior to April 2007, an estimated 4.5 million persons aged 15 years and over reported that they were involved in organised sport and physical activity. This represents 27% of all persons aged 15 years and over. Persons involved in organised sport and physical activity included 3.8 million players (23% of persons aged 15 years and over), as well as 1.6 million persons in non-playing roles (10%). Non-playing roles include coach, instructor or teacher; referee or umpire; committee member or administrator; scorer or timekeeper; medical support; or other role. A person can be involved in more than one kind of sport or physical activity and in more than one role.

The 15 to 24 years age group had the highest rate of involvement with 39% of people participating in organised sport or physical activity. Participation rates declined progressively in older age groups, with those aged 55 to 64 years and 65 years and over having less than half the rate of the 15 to 24 years group.

While the age pattern for players was similar to that for total involvements, among non-players the peak age groups for participation were 35 to 44 years and 45 to 54 years, with non-player participation rates of 15% and 12% respectively. People in the oldest age groups had the lowest rates (6.5% for those aged 55 to 64 years and 4.4% for those aged 65 years and over).
Graph: Playing, non-playing and total involvement participation rates, By age


Further details can be found in Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, Australia, Apr 2007 (cat. no. 6285.0).

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