According to a new study carried out on behalf of the Health and Safety Authority, the proportion of the workforce aged 55 and over grew from 10% in 1998 to almost 20% in 2018. This is forecast to rise further.
Almost one in five of those who left employment between the ages of 55 and 59 did so because of illness and disability. A similar proportion left because of job loss, while 7% left for reasons of family care. Just over 50% cited ‘retirement’ or ‘early retirement’ as the reason for leaving.
The authors explore differences among early leavers, finding occupational and sectoral differences between those who retire early and those who leave for non-retirement reasons such as illness, care responsibilities and job loss.
Leavers who previously held manual jobs are more likely to leave due to non-retirement reasons, compared to managers/professionals. Workers in the construction sector and the retail sector are more likely to leave for non-retirement reasons, when compared to those in the industry sector. Early leavers from the public sector are more likely to cite retirement reasons. Women are five times more likely to have left early for care reasons than men.
You can read the full study here.