Older workers hold on longer

AUSTRALIA'S ageing workforce has no intention of going quietly into retirement and says financial concerns are the main reason for staying put, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

A survey found 2.6 million people aged over 45 were in full-time work with 41 per cent looking to shift to some form of part-time work before leaving the workforce entirely.

But 653,800 Australian workers declared that they never intend to retire from the labour force and another 399,300 said they did not know whether retirement was an option.

For the 3.9 million workers surveyed who planned to retire at some stage, 36 per cent said the timing was reliant on the state of their financial security.

The study revealed that of the 8.5 million people in Australia aged 45 years and over, 4.9 million (57 per cent) were currently employed, another 3.2 million (36 per cent) had retired while the remaining 340,300 (4 per cent) did not currently have a job but had not retired.

Personal health or physical ability also influenced retirement decisions for older workers with about 390,000 workers (25 per cent) saying they would leave the workforce when they became eligible for a pension.

About half of Australia's older workers expect their superannuation to be their main source of income at retirement, with another quarter reporting they would rely on a government pension or allowance to survive.

These figures were in sharp contrast to those already retired. Just 17 per cent of current retirees used their superannuation as the main source of personal income with the majority - 66 per cent - using a government pension for the same reason.

The average age at retirement for Australians in the past five years was 61. Workers who intend to retire, plan to do so at almost 63 years of age.