6238.0 - Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, Jul 2006 to Jun 2007 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/01/2008   
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey is now collected biennially in the MPHS. It was previously conducted in its current format in 2004–05. Prior to that, it was conducted as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force Survey (LFS) on an irregular basis since 1980, and was last run like this in November 1997.

The Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey provides data on people aged 45 years and over.

For a complete list of populations and data items collected in this survey see 6238.0 Appendix – RRI/BI 2006–07 Populations and Data Items List.


The most recent Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey was conducted throughout Australia during the 2006-07 financial year (excluding the months of August and September 2006). It was a component of the 2006-07 Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS), collected as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force Survey (LFS). Data from the survey is released approximately six months after the completion of enumeration.


The number of completed interviews (after taking into account scope and coverage exclusions) for the Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey was 7,168. The response rate was approximately 83% after taking the exclusions into account. See the Explanatory Notes (paragraph 11) for more information. The exclusion of people living in very remote parts of Australia has only a minor impact on aggregate estimates, except for the Northern Territory where these people account for around 23% of the population.

The MPHS was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are available for states and territories, though users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. RSEs for all estimates in the publication are available on the ABS website. As a guide, selected estimates and RSEs are presented in the Technical note.


Since the 1997 issue of RRI there have been conceptual changes which affect time series comparisons. For instance, ' retired from the labour force' is now defined as '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'. However, in the 1997 issue, this concept was defined as 'persons who had retired from work or looking for work of more than 10 hours per week, and did not intend to work in the future'. These people were considered 'fully retired'. Persons who had never worked more than 10 hours were also treated as 'fully retired'. Due to such conceptual changes, users should exercise caution when comparing estimates with previous surveys.

The data item 'intentions to retire from full-time or part-time work' and the population 'intends to retire from the labour force' are determined from responses to a question on 'age intends to permanently give up work'. In 2004-05, the category 'don't know' was included and this group of people were considered as part of 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' are again included with the 'intends to retire' population whereas people who reported 'did not know whether will retire' are excluded from this population. As a result, data is presented differently for 2006-07. A comparison with 2004-05 data is given in table 2 in the publication. This change has had the effect of slightly decreasing the number who intend to retire. This should be kept in mind when making any comparisons.

In 2006-07, an additional category of 'partner's income' was included in the following data items: 'all/main source of income at retirement' for those people who had retired, and 'all/main expected source of income at retirement' for those people intending to retire. In 2004-05, people relying on their partner's income were included in the 'other' or 'no income' categories.

In 2006-07, for the data item 'main source of current (personal) income', the category 'partner's income' cannot be separately identified because of the way the data are collected.


The Retirement and Retirement Intentions publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, Technical Notes and a Glossary that provide information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.

Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are not produced. The estimates are based on information collected over the financial year. However, seasonal weighting is not undertaken. The survey was not run in August and September 2006 due to enumeration issues with one of the other topics included in MPHS.


In addition to the PDF publication, the tables and associated RSEs will be available in spreadsheet form on the website.

Data is available on request. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

An expanded confidentialised unit record file (cat. no. 4100.0) will be produced for this survey and is expected to be released in February 2008.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and referral centre on 1300 135 070 or Labour Market Section on Canberra (02) 6252 7206.