Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Retirement delayed as Canadians work longer: Welcome to the worlwide trend

Canadians are working later in life than they used to and delaying their retirement, Statistics Canada says.

The data agency issued a report Wednesday that shows Canadians are working longer, a trend that's been increasing since the mid-1990s.

A typical 50-year-old worker in 2008 could expect to work for 16 more years. Fifteen years earlier, the numbers suggest that worker would likely only have 12½ years left before retirement — a difference of 3½ years.

Statistics Canada took data from its labour force survey (from which the official unemployment rate is derived) and calculated the number of years a typical person in any given year could expect to work. The method used is similar to the one the data agency uses to estimate life expectancy.

Up until the mid-1990s, the trend was toward earlier retirement. But at that time, high public-sector deficits and downsizing among private-sector organizations drove more people to retire earlier.

There's been a pronounced trend toward working longer ever since. In 1996, barely more than one-fifth of people over the age of 55 in Canada were still working. But that figure had jumped to more than one-third by 2010. more