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When do people retire?

Most people retire at 55 years or over.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average age Australians intend to retire is 63 for men and 61 for women.

Compulsory retirement at 65 was made illegal in South Australia in 1993. Under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) and federal law, it is unlawful to dismiss a worker because of their age unless there is an occupational reason to be a certain age.

Most workers cannot be forced to retire because of age except:

  • judges and magistrates must retire at 70
  • Australian Defence Force personnel must retire at 65.

The average retirement age is likely to increase as we have an ageing population.  More workers will move into retirement and fewer will enter the labour market.  As a result, there will be a shortage of workers.  Governments and many employers are already trying to encourage workers to stay on longer by offering assistance for older workers and phased retirement.

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