Retirement decision-making

Current project

This project explores issues related to retirement decision-making.


Deciding when to retire may be one of the most important decisions a person makes during his or her lifetime. It is often an emotional decision encompassing financial, health and other personal considerations. The range of factors influencing the decision are not just about the financial situation but also include family events and responsibilities, physical and mental health and work satisfaction. Leaving the workforce is usually a time of significant change in a person's life which can have profound effects on their family life and relationships.

Also, an aging population in Australia has given rise to concerns about whether, in the decades to come, there will be enough people in the workforce to support the growing proportion of the population who will be retired. A combination of increased life expectancy and early retirement means that Australians are spending longer in retirement than ever before. The main consequences of these changes are likely to be a shortfall in public finances needed to cover the increasing costs of pension entitlements and health care. Therefore, a key policy issue for the Australian Government is how to encourage mature age labour force participation. 

About the project

The Institute has a program of work analysing many aspects of retirement decision-making using a range of Australian datasets including the Australian Population Census.

AIFS research into elements of retirement decision making includes:

  • financial Incentives that influence retirement decisions
  • retirement decisions of couples
  • retirement expectations and labour force transitions
  • how age pension and superannuation policy influence retirement decisions.

Contact us for further information regarding this project.


Senior Research Fellow | Senior Manager of Research and Analysis Team in Large Scale and Longitudinal Studies.



Funding sources