CHAPTER 22.2 RETIREMENT AND RETIREMENT INTENTIONS
22.2.1 The Retirement and Retirement Intentions topic is included in the Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS) every two years, beginning with the 2004–05 reference period. Data on retirement and retirement intentions were previously collected in a survey conducted as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The Retirement and Retirement Intentions supplementary survey was conducted on an irregular basis between 1980 and 1997 (see Chapter 21.11 for further details).
22.2.2 Data from the survey topic are used to examine changes in retirement trends over time, factors which influence retirement and the income arrangements made by retirees and potential retirees for their retirement.
22.2.3 This section describes only those aspects of the methodology that were unique to this survey topic and should therefore be read in conjunction with the overview part of this chapter (Chapter 22), which outlines the survey methodology used in the MPHS.
22.2.4 Data from the survey topic are published in Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia (cat. no. 6238.0). More detailed data are available on request. An expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) for the 2008–09 survey topic has been made available via the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL). For more information on this CURF, see Technical Manual: Multipurpose Household Survey, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2008–09 (cat. no. 4100.0). Information on CURFs and the RADL can be found on the ABS web site, under Services – ABS Microdata.
22.2.5 The survey topic collects information about the retirement and retirement intentions of people aged 45 years and over who have, at some time, worked for two weeks or more. Estimates are available on an original basis only (i.e. not seasonally adjusted) and include:
Sex; age; marital status; relationship in household; age of youngest child; number of children aged under 15 years; state or territory of usual residence; birthplace and period of arrival in Australia; educational attainment.
Persons who have retired from the labour force
Details of last job (e.g. full-time or part-time status; status in employment; occupation; industry; reason for ceasing last job); age at retirement from the labour force; time since retirement; sources of income at retirement; and details about superannuation (e.g. whether contributed to a superannuation scheme; time contributing; methods of disbursement of lump sum payment).
Persons who intend to retire from the labour force
Details of current job (e.g. full-time or part-time status; status in employment; occupation; industry); age intends to retire; expected time until retirement; factors influencing decision about when to retire from the labour force; expected sources of income at retirement; previous retirement status (whether had previously retired from work or not); reasons for returning to work (for those who had previously retired); and details about superannuation (e.g. whether contributed to a superannuation scheme; time contributing).
22.2.6 All data collected are compiled according to concepts and definitions outlined in Chapter 2 (labour force status), Chapter 4 (employment characteristics) and Chapter 16 (socio-demographic information and industry).
22.2.7 The scope of this survey topic is restricted to persons aged 45 years and over. The standard scope restrictions for the MPHS outlined in the overview part of Chapter 22 also apply to this survey topic.
22.2.8 Data on retirement and retirement intentions were previously collected in a survey conducted as a supplement to the LFS. The Retirement and Retirement Intentions supplementary survey was conducted on an irregular basis between 1980 and 1997. Data from the supplementary survey and the MPHS topic are not directly comparable as there are differences in the concepts measured, scope, collection methodology and sample design (including sample size). For example, the November 1997 supplementary survey definition of 'retired from the labour force' comprised 'persons who had retired from work or were looking for work of more than 10 hours per week, and did not intend to work in the future' and 'persons that have never worked more than 10 hours per week', whereas the MPHS definition is 'persons who had previously worked for two weeks or more and had retired from work or looking for work, and did not intend to look for, or take up, work at any time in the future'. See Chapter 21 and Chapter 22 for more information.
22.2.9 Data on retirement and retirement intentions is also collected as a component of the 2007 Survey of Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation (SEARS), which was earlier conducted in 2000 as the Survey of Employment Arrangements and Superannuation (SEAS) (see Chapter 23). While SEARS has a similar focus to SEAS, and collects a similar range of data, changes in the survey scope and methodology, and in the collection and presentation of information, mean that estimates fro the surveys may not be strictly comparable. The next SEARS will be conduced in 2013, and will be combined with the Time Use Survey into a new survey called the Work, Life and Family Survey.
DATA COMPARABILITY OVER TIME
22.2.10 In order to provide a high degree of consistency and comparability over time, changes to survey methods, survey concepts, data item definitions, frequency of collection, and analysis methods are made as infrequently as possible. Changes affecting the LFS may also affect this survey. Such changes are outlined in Chapter 20 and are not repeated here.
Survey conducted (August 2004 to June 2005) on MPHS for the first time. Data published in Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia (cat. no. 6238.0).
The data item 'intentions to retire from full-time or part-time work' and the population 'intends to retire from the labour force' were determined from responses to a question on age intends to permanently give up work'. In 2004–05, people who answered 'don't know' were included in the 'intends to retire' population. For the 2006–07 survey the 'don't know' category was replaced with the categories 'don't know age will retire' and 'don't know whether will retire'. People who reported 'don't know age will retire' were included with the 'intends to retire' population whereas people who reported 'did not know whether will retire' were excluded from this population. This change had the effect of slightly decreasing the number of people who intend to retire and should be kept in mind when making comparisons to 2004–05 data .
An additional category of 'partner's income' was included in the following data items: all/main source of income at retirement', and 'all/main expected source of income at retirement'. In 2004–05, people relying on their partner's income would have been included in the 'other' or 'no income' categories.
In cases where people could not report an exact age they 'intend to permanently give up work', they were given the option of responding with an age range. These range responses were included in 'average age intends to retire' by substituting the low-point of the range into the calculation.
New content was added to the 2008–09 survey including transition to retirement plans, sources of funds for meeting living costs, intentions for a healthy/active retirement, housing tenure and self assessed health.
High reporting of non-personal income money sources to personal income questions in previous cycles of this survey led to the inclusion of 'all/main sources of funds for meeting living costs' data items in 2008–09 to improve this information. As a result, care should be taken when comparing with data from previous years. See paragraphs 22-24 of the Explanatory Notes in the publication for more information.
Questions on intentions for a healthy/active retirement, housing tenure, whether had private health insurance and self assessed health that were included in the 2008–09 survey were not included in 2010–11. Questions on transition to retirement plans were retained as a core component of the survey.
22.2.11 For further details contact the Labour Market Statistics Section in Canberra on (02) 6252 7206 or at <email@example.com>.
This page last updated 6 May 2013