6238.0 - Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, 2018-19  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/05/2020   
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Key Statistics

In 2018-19,

    • There were 3.9 million retirees.
    • 55% of people over 55 years old were retired, up from 53% in 2016-17.
    • The average age of retirement was 55.4 years (includes people who had left their last job due to illness, injury, job loss, and other reasons).
    • For people who were intending to retire, the average age they planned to retire was 65.5 years.
    • 0.5 million people intend to retire in the next 5 years.

    • In 2018-19, 55% of retirees were women.
    • The population of retired women increased more than men.
    • On average, women retire sooner than men.


People aged 45 years and over
Retirees3.5 million3.9 million+0.3 million
Proportion retired38%40%+2 pts
Average age of retirement55.2 years55.4 years+0.2 years

Men aged 45 years and over
Retirees1.6 million1.7 million+0.1 million
Proportion retired36%37%+1 pts
Average age of retirement58.8 years59.5 years+0.7 years

Women aged 45 years and over
Retirees1.9 million2.1 million+0.2 million
Proportion retired39%43%+3 pts
Average age of retirement52.2 years52.1 years-0.1 years

    *Note: 2016-17 data has been revised to align with updated benchmarks.

Graph 1: Age distribution of retirees aged 45 years and over
Graph shows age distribution of retirees
Note: Age of retirement is the age when people retired from the labour force (i.e. ceased working and/or looking for work)

Reason left last job

In 2018-19, the top 3 reasons retirees left their last job were:
    • Reached retirement age or eligible for superannuation (46%)
    • Own sickness, injury or disability (21%)
    • Retrenched, dismissed or no work available (11%)

Retired women were more likely to have left their last job to care an ill, disabled or elderly person than men (8% vs 2%).

Income at retirement

Between 2016-17 and 2018-19,
    • The government pension remained the main source of income for most retirees.
    • More people retired with superannuation as a source of income, but the increase was greater for men than women.
    • Retirees with no personal income remained around 30% for women and 7% for men.

In 2018-19,
    • 36% of retired women relied on their partner’s income to meet their living costs at retirement (compared to 7% of retired men).
    • For people intending to retire, the main factor that will influence their decision about when to retire was financial security.

Proportion of retirees

Retired men aged 45 years and over
All sources of income included:
Government pension57%53%-4 pts
Superannuation46%49%+4 pts

Main source of income
Government pension50%49%-1 pt
Superannuation32%30%-2 pt
No personal income7%7%0 pts

Retired women aged 45 years and over
All sources of income included:
Government pension48%45%-3 pts
Superannuation26%27%+1 pt

Main source of income
Government pension45%44%-1 pt
Superannuation17%17%0 pts
No personal income29%30%+1 pt

    Note: Government pension includes all types of government allowance and Superannuation includes all types of annuities and allocated pensions

Graph 2: Main source of income at retirement
Graph shows that government pension remains the main source of income for most retirees

Retirement by State and Territory
    • Tasmania and South Australia had the highest proportion of retirees.

Between 2016-17 and 2018-19,
    • New South Wales had the greatest increase in retirees (1.1 million to 1.3 million).
    • Northern Territory had the highest increase in proportion of retirees (14% to 20%).
    • Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory showed a decrease in their population of retirees.

People aged 45 years and over
RetireesProportion retiredChange in proportion
since 2016-17

New South Wales1.3 million41%+4 pts
Victoria1.0 million40%+2 pts
Queensland750,00040%+2 pts
South Australia330,00045%+3 pts
Western Australia330,00034%-2 pts
Tasmania110,00047%+1 pts
Northern Territory14,00020%+6 pts
Aust. Capital Territory46,00032%-4 pts

Graph 3: Proportion of retirees by state or territory
Graph shows South Australia and Tasmania had the highest proportion of retirees