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.


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

2016-17*2018-19Change

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
2016-172018-19Change

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