One-fourth Australians aged above 50 not planning to retire

One in four Australians over the age of 50 do not believe they will ever retire for financial and social reasons, a study has found.

The survey conducted by the Newgate Research for the COTA Federation (Councils on the Ageing) found that older Australians plan to continue working, reports Xinhua news agency.

It also revealed that 49 per cent of Australians aged 65 have retired, down from 60 per cent in 2018 and the number of people in their 60s who want more paid work has doubled.

The number of people aged 66-74 who had retired increased significantly from 2018, but the report attributed the rise to the coronavirus pandemic which has forced people into early retirements.

Joan Hughes, the chairperson of COTA Federation, said while finances were a major factor, many older Australians were choosing to continue to work for social connections.

“There is a bit of problem with that notion of retirement, what we call ‘the R word’, and what that conjures up for some people,” she was quoted as saying by the Nine Entertainment newspapers on Sunday.

“There is a lot of ageism and maybe some people have seen that happen to their parents or feel like they don’t know what the next chapter of their life will be or that if they don’t have work they don’t have an identity.”

Australians can access their superannuation, a compulsory retirement fund system, from the age of 60.

However, Stella Avramopoulos from female-oriented charity Good Shepherd said women’s superannuation balances were 40 per cent lower on average than men’s, forcing older women to work beyond 60.

“We need to ensure retirement isn’t a pipedream for younger women by working towards super parity,” she said.