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4914.0.55.001 - Newsletter: Age Matters, Apr 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/05/2004   
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DID YOU KNOW?

In general, the Australian Public Service (APS) is older than the wider Australian workforce. In June 2003, 37.6% of the APS was aged 45 years and over, compared with 35.0% of the total Australian workforce.

Age profile

Table 1 shows how the APS is ageing. Proportionally, the only age groups experiencing an increase over the last 10 years were the 45-54 years (22.1% to 29.3%) and the 55 years and over (5.6% to 8.3%). In June 2003, 37.6% of the APS population was eligible for retirement within the next 10 years.

Table 1: Ongoing Staff: Age Group by Sex, 1994 - 2003

Age group (years)
June 1994
June 1999
June 2003
%
%
%
Under 25
8.4
4.1
4.9
25 - 34
30.9
26.6
26.0
35 - 44
33.0
33.9
31.4
45 - 54
22.1
29.1
29.3
55 and over
5.6
6.3
8.3
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
Source: Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2002-03

Classification profile

As shown in Table 2, more than one-fifth (22.8%) of those employed in the APS were aged 45 years and over in either middle or senior management positions (APS5 and above).

Table 2: Ongoing Staff: Classification by Age Group, 30 June 2003

Classification
Under 25
years
25-34 years
35-44 years
45-54 years
55 years and over
Total
%
%
%
%
%
%
APS 1 - APS2
0.5
1.4
2.0
1.8
0.9
6.5
APS 3 - APS 4
3.0
11.6
10.8
9.0
2.9
37.2
APS 5 - APS6
0.9
9.2
10.8
9.7
2.5
33.1
EL1 - EL2
0.0
3.5
7.4
7.9
1.7
20.5
SES
-
-
0.5
0.8
0.2
1.6
Trainee/Graduate Trainee
0.6
0.3
0.1
-
-
1.1
Total
4.9
26.0
31.4
29.3
8.3
100.0
- nil or rounded to zero
Source: Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2002-03

Separations profile

Table 3 shows that of those who left the APS between 2002 and 2003 and were eligible to retire (ie. aged 55 years and over), 71.0% left due to age retirement with a further 23.0% leaving due to retrenchment. Almost two-thirds (64.1%) of the eligible retirees were in the 55-59 years age group.

Those aged 50-54 years accounted for 15.6% of resignations. Included in this age group are those who resign just prior to there 55th birthday and who benefit from the financial incentives of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS).

Table 3: Separations of Ongoing Staff: Age group by Separation Type, 2002-03

Age group (years)
Resignation
Age Retirement
Retrenchment
Other (a)
Total
Under 45
3575
-
273
343
4191
45 - 49
439
-
106
107
652
50 - 54
740
-
223
95
1058
55 - 59
-
516
182
51
749
60
-
71
23
7
101
61
-
55
24
5
84
62
-
58
16
3
77
63
-
32
7
2
41
64 and over
-
98
17
2
117
Total
4754
830
871
615
7070
(a) includes death, termination of employment and invalid retirement.
- nil or rounded to zero
Source: Australian Public Service Statistical Bulletin 2002-03


Data in this article have been taken from the Australia Public Service (APS) Statistical Bulletin 2002-03. More detailed commentary of the age profile of the APS can be found in the State of the Service Report 2002-03, produced by the Australian Public Service Commission.

Government initiatives to address the ageing workforce include the Commonwealth Department of Treasury's Australia's Demographic Challenges released in February 2004. This report outlines policies to increase labour force participation levels. A focus throughout the report is on the mature age workers and encouraging their participation in the workforce beyond the age at which they would normally retire.

In March 2004, the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services launched its Mature Workers' Strategy, a plan for encouraging and supporting people to continue to work beyond the age at which they would normally retire.

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