Monday, June 01, 2009

Australia: Study Suggests Blue Collar Workers More Likely To Delay Retiremement

According to news reports, researchers report that Australian baby boomers' expected retirement age is now reaching 64.3 years and that it is blue-collar boomers--more likely to struggle with the physical demands of working into their late 60s than white-collar workers--who are bumping up the expected retirement age. According to a paper "Which of Australia’s Baby boomers expect to delay their retirement? An occupational overview" by University of Tasmania social researchers Natalie Jackson and Maggie Walter to be presented on July 9, "Professionals and Associate Professionals--many of whom hold so-called "critical skills" which are central to the functioning of many businesses, organisations and departments--have the youngest expected retirement ages, while Labourers and Production/Transport Workers have the oldest."

In comparing expected and preferred retirement ages, Jackson and Walter find that the gap between the two is generally bigger for blue-collar than office workers, with "insufficient financial resources to support retirement" cited as the main reason. For example, tradespeople in the automotive sector expect to retire at a median age of 66.1 years, but their preferred age of retirement is 58.3.

Overall, the study shows a rapid rate of change in the expectations of Australian workers towards retirement. "As recently as 1997, average age of retirement was 58 for males and 41 for females," it notes. "Our overall finding is of a median expected retirement age of 64.3 years for workers aged 40-59 in 2006."

Source: The Australian "Baby boomers ready to work longer" (June 1, 2009)