Australians Embrace Oldest Retirement Age Since The 1970s

Australians continue to embrace later retirement ages, with the retirement age steadily increasing to 66.2 years for men and 64.8 years for women. 

According to recent data provided by KPMG, the expected retirement age for both men and women has remained unchanged over the last two years, marking the highest figure since 1972. 

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This trend suggests a notable departure from historical retirement patterns, with Australians opting to extend their careers later in life.

The increase in retirement age over the last two decades has been a notable trend, rising from 63.3 to 66.2 years for men and from 61.6 to 64.8 years for women. 

This surge has largely been attributed to enhanced job flexibility in knowledge-intensive roles and tighter labour market conditions.

KPMG Urban Economist Terry Rawnsley said adopting remote work arrangements during the pandemic has played a significant role in reshaping retirement decisions among older Australians. 

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Many individuals in professional roles have realised the possibility of “semi-retirement,” allowing them to maintain engagement in the workforce from homes or even coastal locations.

“Even in a tight labour market, we may have reached a plateau in the expected age of retirement, suggesting we cannot expect older workers to continue working longer. This is because we simply can’t find enough older workers to sustain the growth that occurred during the COVID-19 era,” Rawnsley said.

Data shows that between 2019 and 2021, the Australian labour force expanded by 185,000 individuals, with those aged 55 and above constituting nearly 70 per cent of this growth. 

However, with the resurgence of international migration and the revival of younger demographics in the workforce, the proportion of over-55s fell to 21.3 per cent by 2023.

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