6238.0 - Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, July 2012 to June 2013 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/12/2013   
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1 The statistics presented in this publication were compiled from data collected in the MPHS that was conducted throughout Australia in the 2012–13 financial year as a supplement to the ABS monthly LFS. The MPHS is designed to provide statistics annually for a small number of labour, social and economic topics. The topics collected in 2012–13 were:

2 For all topics, information on labour force characteristics, education, income and other demographics are also available.

3 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also apply to the MPHS. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing which are relevant to both the monthly LFS and the MPHS.


4 The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).

5 ABS interviewers conducted interviews by either telephone or in person at selected dwellings during the 2012–13 financial year. Each month a sample of dwellings were selected for the MPHS from the responding households in the LFS. In these dwellings, after the LFS had been fully completed for each person, a usual resident aged 15 years and over was selected at random and asked the additional MPHS questions in a personal interview. Information was collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), whereby responses are recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer.

6 The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes the following people:

  • members of the permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and population estimates;
  • overseas residents in Australia; and
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

7 In addition the 2012–13 MPHS excluded the following:
  • people living in Indigenous communities in very remote parts of Australia; and
  • people living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, inmates of prisons and residents of other institutions (e.g. retirement homes, homes for people with disabilities).

8 For the Retirement and Retirement Intentions topic, the scope was further restricted to people aged 45 years and over.


9 In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.

10 The initial sample for the MPHS 2012–13 consisted of approximately 23,000 private dwelling households. Of the 15,300 private dwelling households that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. households with LFS non-response, no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), approximately 78% were fully responding to the MPHS. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwelling households (after taking into account scope, coverage and subsampling exclusions) was 8,300 for the Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey.


11 Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total in scope population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each sample unit, which, for the MPHS, can either be a person or a household. The weight is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit. The first step in calculating weights for each unit is to assign an initial weight, which is the inverse of the probability of being selected in the survey. The initial weights are then calibrated to align with independent estimates of the population of interest, referred to as 'benchmarks'. Weights are calibrated against population benchmarks to ensure that the survey estimates conform to the independently estimated distribution of the population rather than the distribution within the sample itself.

12 The survey was benchmarked to the estimated civilian population aged 15 years and over living in private dwellings in each state and territory, excluding the scope exclusions listed under Explanatory Notes 6 to 8. For person estimates, the MPHS was benchmarked to the Estimated Resident Population (ERP) in each state and territory, excluding the ERP living in very remote areas of Australia, at 31 March 2013. The MPHS estimates do not (and are not intended to) match estimates for the total Australian person/household populations obtained from other sources (which may include persons living in very remote parts of Australia).

13 The survey has been weighted using the latest estimates of the population, based on quarterly Estimated Resident Population. While Labour Force survey benchmarks are revised every 5 years, to take into account the outcome of the 5-yearly rebasing of the Estimated Resident Population following the latest Census, the supplementary surveys and multi-purpose household surveys (from which the statistics in this publication are taken) are not. Small differences will therefore exist between the civilian population aged 15 years and over reflected in the Labour Force survey and other labour household surveys estimates, as well as over time (eg. between the 2010–11 and 2012–13 Retirement and Retirement Intentions surveys).


14 Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:

  • Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For more information see the Technical Note; and
  • Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers and effective processing procedures.


15 Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 2011 (cat. no. 1269.0).

16 Occupation data are classified according to the ANZSCO – Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0).

17 Industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 2.0) (cat. no. 1292.0).

18 Educational attainment data are classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).
19 Due to difference in the scope and sample size of the MPHS and that of LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from LFS.

20 Changes to the LFS population benchmarks impact primarily on the magnitude of the Labour Force estimates (i.e. employment and unemployment) that are directly related to the underlying size of the population. For more details on population benchmarks used in the Labour Force Survey, see the Explanatory Notes in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0). See paragraph 13 for issues to note when comparing with estimates from 2012–13 with previous surveys.


21 The Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey was last conducted in the 2010–11 financial year. Results of this survey were published in:


22 For the 2012–13 survey, questions were included on self assessed health, whether had private health insurance and housing tenure. These were last included in the 2008–09 survey.

23 The 2012–13 survey included the new items, satisfaction with current hours worked, satisfaction with current work arrangements, whether self funded at retirement, whether is currently self funded in retirement and whether expects to be self funded in retirement.

24 High reporting of non-personal income money sources (e.g. partner's income, savings or selling assets) 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. The categories for these items are 'personal income', 'partner's income', 'savings or selling assets' and 'none of the above'. The aim was to determine the main source of funds for meeting day-to-day living expenses (currently and at retirement or expected at retirement). These categories have once again been included for the 2012–13 MPHS.

25 Income data has been presented in Table 3 – Persons aged 45 years and over who have retired from the labour force. Care should be taken in interpreting the data as no imputation has been undertaken for the 'could not be determined' category.

26 'Transition to retirement plans' were collected from employed persons aged 45 years and over, through a sequence of questions about changes they might make to their working arrangements before retiring. Examples include whether they would work part–time, change their employer or change other aspects of their employment such as working from home or reducing their responsibilities. For those who reported transition plans, the age at which these were to be implemented was also collected (as an exact age or age group). Range responses were included in 'average age intends to implement transitions plans' by substituting the low-point of the range into the calculation.

27 For a more detailed list of available data items and their categories – Barriers & Incentives to Labour Force Participation and Retirement & Retirement Intentions 2012–13 Data Items List, is available in an excel spreadsheet, on the ABS Website under the Downloads section.


28 The ABS plans to conduct this survey again during the 2014–15 financial year.

29 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

30 An electronic version of the tables released in this publication is available on the ABS web site in spreadsheets attached to this publication. The spreadsheets present the tables and the related relative standard errors (RSEs) for each publication table.

31 ABS publications which may also be of interest include:

32 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the Statistics Page on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.