Older Australians working for longer

July 2021 – Australians aged 65 or older are now more likely to be in the workforce than retired.

While 49% of the 65+ group have retired, only just tipping the balance, that’s a significant change from 2018, when 60% of the age group had left the workforce.

The State of the (Older) Nation report was conducted in February 2021 by the Federation of Nine Councils on the Ageing (COTA) around Australia, so reflected COVID-19 experience and conditions compared with the last report in 2018.

Australians can apply for the age pension at age 65 –  although this increases to 66 this year – but 25% of those in work don’t see themselves ever retiring, about the same as in 2018.

The report found age-related discrimination is on the rise.

Of the 2830 people aged 50 and over who were surveyed, 37% reported age discrimination since they turned 50.

They were most likely to be told they were too qualified but 31% were told they were too old, compared with 21% in 2018 and despite age discrimination being an offence.

source: COTA

Not surprisingly in the era of COVID, sentiment was gloomier on many factors.  70% felt younger than their age, but this compared with 80% in 2018.

Fewer than half were doing the recommended two hours exercise a week.