4914.0.55.001 - Age Matters, June 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2010   
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Living Alone
Retirement and Retirement Intentions
Underemployed Workers
Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index


'Living Alone', an article from the December 2009 Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0), uses several data sources to examine those who live alone in Australia.

The article found that over the past twenty years, the proportion of people living alone (aged 15 years and over) has increased slightly and tends to become more common with age, particularly for women who tend to outlive their husbands. However, older women are now less likely to live alone than two decades ago. This is related to increases in life expectancy, particularly for men, which have led to both sexes living to an older age.

It was also found that people aged 65 and over who live alone displayed some different characteristics to their younger counterparts. On average lone people aged 65 and over reported spending more waking time alone in a day than those aged 15-64 years. However when compared to those aged 65 and over who live with others, older lone people displayed some similar characteristics. The patterns of reported psychological distress and main source of income were similar for this group regardless of whether they lived alone or with others.

For more information please go to Australian Social Trends, December 2009 (cat. no. 4102.0).


This publication presents information about the retirement status and retirement intentions of people aged 45 years and over, who have, at some time, worked for two weeks or more. The likelihood of being retired increases with age.

In 2008-09, there were 3.4 million people aged 45 years and over in the labour force who indicated that they intended to retire from the labour force in the future. Of these, just over half (53%) reported their main source of personal income at retirement would be 'superannuation or annuity'. It was also found that of this 3.4 million, just over a third (38%) did not know the age at which they would retire. For those that did indicate an intended age of retirement (68%), almost half (46%), intended to retire at the age range of 65-69 years. There were 217,700 people aged 45 years and over who had previously retired from the labour force but at the time of the survey were either in the labour force again, or were planning to look for, or take up work in the future.

For more information please go to Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, July 2008 to June 2009 (cat. no. 6238.0).


This publication presents information about the characteristics of underemployed workers aged 15 years and over. Underemployed workers are an important component of underutilised labour resources in the Australian economy.

In 2008-2009, it was found that, of the 735,900 underemployed part-time workers, there were 213,400 (29%) aged 45 years and over who usually worked part-time, but would prefer more hours. In addition, those aged 45 and over generally had longer durations of underemployment than those who were younger. For those aged 45-54 years, the median duration of the current period of insufficient work was 39 weeks, compared with 26 weeks for all underemployed workers.

For more information please go to Underemployed Workers, Australia, September 2009 (cat. no. 6265.0).


The Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) has been designed to answer the question: 'By how much would after tax money incomes need to change to allow age pensioners, and other households whose principal source of income is government benefits, to purchase the same quantity of consumer goods and services that they purchased in the base period?'

Since the last edition of Age Matters there have been two releases of the PBLCI, December 2009 and March 2010. The most recent release shows that the PBLCI has been consistently rising since the beginning of the series, in June quarter 2007. In March 2010 the most significant price rises came from expenditures on housing and health. Comparisons to the CPI are also included in this publication.

For more information please go to Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, March 2009 (cat. no. 6467.0).