6238.0 - Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, July 2016 to June 2017 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2017   
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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 provides data about the retirement status and retirement intentions of persons aged 45 years and over who have, at some time, worked for two weeks or more. The data collected in the Retirement and Retirement Intentions topic provide information on retirement trends, the factors which influence decisions to retire, and the income arrangements that retirees and potential retirees have made to provide for their retirement. The data are cross-classified by a range of demographic characteristics such as age, sex and country of birth, as well as labour force characteristics.

Full details of the data items are available on the ABS website in an Excel spreadsheet, under the Downloads section (B&I and R&RI 2016–17 Data Items List).


The Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey is collected biennially, and was first conducted in 2004–05. The most recent Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey was conducted throughout Australia during the 2016–17 financial year. It was a component of the 2016–17 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS), collected as a supplement to the ABS Labour Force Survey (LFS).


The initial sample for the MPHS 2016–17 consisted of approximately 26,000 private households. Of the 15,400 private 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 72% responded to the MPHS. For the Retirement and Retirement Intentions survey, the number of completed interviews obtained from these private households after taking into account scope, coverage and sub sampling exclusions was 8,200.

Estimates from the survey are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors.

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.

To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of information that could identify individual survey respondents while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. After perturbation, a given published cell will be consistent across all tables. However, adding up cell values to derive a total will not necessarily give the same result as published totals.


For the 2012–13 survey, questions were included on Housing tenure, Previous full-time job details and Main source of current personal income. These were excluded from the 2014–15 survey.

For the 2014–15 survey, changes were also made to include the further age ranges of '65 - 69', '70 - 74', '75 - 79' and '80 and over' for questions on transitioning to retirement.

For the 201617 survey, enhancements were made to Previous job module, a new question asking "Did you have employees in the business" was added. Questions were also included on Housing tenure.

The statistics presented in this survey have been benchmarked to the Estimated Resident Population for December 2016, independently produced according to the scope of the survey. This ensures that the survey estimates conform to person benchmarks by state, section of state, age and sex. The statistics have been further benchmarked to labour force survey estimates averaged over the 12 month MPHS reference period. This ensures that survey estimates are also consistent with the estimated in-scope population by state, section of state, sex, age and labour force status.


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.

The estimates are based on information collected over the financial year. Therefore, seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are not produced and seasonal weighting is not undertaken.

Further commentary is often available through articles and data published in other ABS products, including:

Australian Labour Market Statistics (cat. no. 6105.0).

Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0).

Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).

Year Book, Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) - refer to the 'Labour' chapter.


For the 2016–17 release, tables and associated RSEs are available in spreadsheet form on the ABS website.

Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia (cat. no. 6238.0) is released electronically via the ABS website as Datacubes in spreadsheet format. Additional data may be available on request (subject to data quality). Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors. Full details of data items for this survey are available from the Downloads tabs in Datacube: B&I and R&RI 2016-17 Data items list.

For users who wish to undertake a more detailed analysis of the data, the survey microdata will be released through the TableBuilder product. For more details, refer to the TableBuilder information, Microdata, Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation, Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia (cat. no. 6238.0.55.001). For more information see About TableBuilder.

For more information about ABS data available on request, contact National Information and Referral Service in Canberra on 1300 135 070 or via email to <client.services@abs.gov.au> or contact Labour Markets Analytics Section by email to <labour.statistics@abs.gov.au>