A third of retirees leave work to spend more time with family

65 to 67 years of age is the most popular age to retire

People who were members of an occupational pension scheme, in which their employer contributes, were significantly more likely to retire at an earlier age, the study found.

People who were members of an occupational pension scheme, in which their employer contributes, were significantly more likely to retire at an earlier age, the study found.

 

Over half of older people choose to leave work when they become eligible for their pension, while a third retire to spend more time with their family, a new study shows.

The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (Tilda) Irish Adults Transition to Retirement report, launched this week, examined retirement patterns in Ireland in the over 50s.

It found reasons for retirement varied depending on age, gender and whether an individual has a pension plan in place.

Among participants that had already retired, 57.2 per cent of people left work due to pension eligibility and 33.5 per cent cited spending time with family and enjoying life more as their reason for leaving work.

Some 5 per cent of respondents said ill-health was why they retired, while 4.5 per cent cited redundancy.

For individuals who had no pension plan in place, ill-health was the main reason for leaving paid employment.

The Tilda research found that 65 to 67 years of age was the most popular planned age at which to retire for both men and women in the public and private sector.

However, people who were members of an occupational pension scheme, in which their employer contributes, were significantly more likely to retire at an earlier age.

On average, women planned to retire earlier than men while men were significantly more likely than women to say they have no plans to retire.

Almost a quarter of participants reported that they had no plans to retire while a further 14 per cent did not know when they would retire. Of those with no plans to retire, 60 per cent had no private pension in place.

The research found individuals who did not know at what age they hope to retire, often faced more uncertainty in their future jobs and were more likely to have experienced a more varied employment history.

Some 13 per cent of participants continued to work after their retirement, typically in temporary or occasional positions for an average of 23 hours per week.

The study also found there was no change in perceived stress after retirement.

Professor Rose Anne Kenny, lead academic at Tilda, said the study provides “a solid base of research” to support public policy in addressing Ireland’s citizens as they age.

“This report provides a unique opportunity to observe changes in the lives of older adults as they embark on retirement, an important life stage for many. Retirement provides opportunities as well as challenges to many aspects of people’s lives,” Prof Kenny said.

“Though the actual process of retirement may be stressful, once mitigated the hardest part is over. As a research institution we are very excited about sharing this knowledge with policy makers and the general public.”