Many more older people retired in 2004

Many more people aged around 60 retired from work in 2004 than in the years before. This increase is related to the ageing of the population and the reduction of staff by employers.

More retirement around age 60

The population aged 55 to 65 years is growing substantially. This is one of the reasons that the number of working people in this age group has risen strongly, just as the number that retired early. In 2004, 120 thousand working people aged 55 to 65 years left the active labour force. In the previous year this number was 92 thousand. Early retirement may be the result of a voluntary choice, but may also be as a result of dismissal, illness or other reasons.

Number of workers (55–64 years) who were not working one year later

More retirement at all ages

Compared with the number of working people, early retirement decreased between 2000 and 2002, but rose steadily after that. Twenty-three percent of the 60 year-olds who were working in September 2002 had stopped one year later; for the working 60 year-olds in  September 2003 this was 28 percent. At other ages, too, more people stopped work. 

Percentage of workers (55–64 years) who were not working one year later

More people retire under pre-pension schemes

The greater retirement rates are affected by the social plans in the public and private sectors which stimulate retirement of older workers. The number of people in the government and education sectors who stopped work and received “pre-pension” increased substantially. All in all the outflow of older workers in 2004 was one and a half times the number four years previously.

Average retirement age hardly changed

Workers aged 55 to 65 years who stopped work in 2004 were nearly  60 years old on average. The average retirement age hardly changed in the period 1999–2004. Men were on average 0.4 of a year older than women when they stopped work. At the age of 59 years the outflow of women is slightly larger than for men, but overall the pattern of retirement is the same for men and women.

Percentage of workers (55–64 years) who were not working one year later, 2003/’04

André Corpeleijn