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Age of intending retirees increasing

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: 12 months ended December. Average sample, n= 487. Base: Australians 14+ intending to retire in the next 12 months
New research from Roy Morgan shows that in December 2017, the average age of Australians intending to retire in the next 12 months is 61.9 years, up from 58.2 years over the last three years (2014). Despite this increase in average age of intending retirees, their number continues to increase and is currently 415,000, up from 392,000 in 2014 and 326,000 in 2008.

These results cover the period 2008 to 2017 and are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey of over 50,000 consumers per annum, including over 500 intending retirees.

Delayed retirement good for superannuation funds and government

Increasing retirement age is generally not only good for individuals by increasing their savings but a positive for the Australian Government and superannuation funds. It means a reduction in the period the government has to fund through pensions and allows superannuation funds a longer accumulation phase before having to pay out.

The following chart shows that the average age of intending retirees has increased considerably from 57.5 years in 2008 to 61.9 years currently.

Average Age of Intending Retirees: Next 12 Months
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: 12 months ended December. Average sample, n= 487. Base: Australians 14+ intending to retire in the next 12 months

Average age of females intending retirees increasing faster than males

Since 2008, the average age of females who intend to retire increased by 6.3 years to 61.3 years, while males showed an increase of only 2.9 years to 62.0 years. This more rapid increase in retirement age for females is likely to be at least partly as a result of the increasing awareness that they generally have a lower level of retirement funding than males and as a result they need to work longer.

Average Age of Intending Retirees1: Males vs Females
 Source: Roy Morgan Single Source: 12 months ended December 2008, n= 515; 12 months ended December 2017, n= 459. Base: Australians 14+ intending to retire in the next 12 months 1. Next 12 months

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan says: 

“Currently, the Australian Government faces twin financial pressures on funding the age pension, from an increase in life expectancy and inadequate personal retirement savings. Given this situation, it is a positive finding in this research that there has been a gradual increase in the age of intending retirees. This results potentially in a longer period of paying tax, increased savings and as a result less time on the pension, possibly at a reduced level. However, one drawback of delayed retirement is that it may increase unemployment, with older workers occupying positions that younger people might otherwise have filled.

“The more rapid increase in the age of females intending to retire compared to males over recent years is a positive trend. This has now reached the stage where the intended age of retirement is almost identical for both sexes, enabling greater savings potential for females heading into retirement.

“This analysis is only an overview from the extensive Roy Morgan Single Source survey of over 50,000 interviews per annum which covers retirement funding in much greater detail, enabling in-depth and unique trended analysis across this entire market.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%