Official Statistics

6. Average age of withdrawal from the labour market: data table

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6. Average age of withdrawal from the labour market
Data source
Labour Force Survey
Time period and availability
Breakdowns are currently available by age, ethnicity, gender and religion or belief.
Latest data available in July 2014 covered Quarter 1 2014 for gender, and 4 quarter
averages (to increase data reliability for small sample size) from Quarter 2 2013 to
Quarter 1 2014 for ethnicity and religion or belief.
Data are produced quarterly approximately six weeks after the period referred to.
What does this tell us?
This indicator is measured using the ‘average age of withdrawal from the labour market – static indicator’. High level figures which are not broken down for equality groups are published by ONS annually in the
Pension Trends series.
This indicator measures the ages at which people withdraw from the labour market and become inactive; data are not seasonally adjusted. Due to the nature of the indicator, year on year changes tend to be small
and are not typically statistically significant. The focus should not be on the short-term changes but on the long-term trend.
Fuller Working Lives are an important part of the response to demographic ageing and ensuring pensions sustainability. Monitoring changes in average age of withdrawal will provide an indication of how the Department’s
policies are encouraging longer working.
How will an improvement be shown?
An increase in the age of withdrawal from the labour market would constitute an improvement. However, economic conditions also need to be taken into account as increased financial constraints can lead to people working longer.
There may be a number of other contributing factors including: changing attitudes around working longer among individuals and employers; private pension incentives; and the effect of state pension age changes.
Links to other information that you may find useful
Further information on the labour market and retirement is available in the ONS report on Pension Trends, available at: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/pensions/pension-trends/chapter-4--labour-market---retirement/index.html.
[1] The 2011 Equality Information Report contained a breakdown for disabled people versus non-disabled people (Table 6.1). From the 2012 report onwards we have dropped this table. Our investigations into the data quality have identified
that the methodology used does not support a breakdown by disability status as the prevalence of disability in the population increases with age, and an individual becoming disabled is associated with withdrawal
from the labour market, meaning that the calculation is biased. A more detailed note explaining the calculation of the “static” exit age indicator is available at: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/pensions/average-age-of-withdrawal-from-the-labour-market/2010/index.html
[2] The 2012 Equality Information Report contained more detailed breakdowns of ethnicity and religion. Form the 2013 report onwards we have combined some of the smaller ethnic or religious groupings.
The data has been found to be extremely sensitive to small sample sizes, and can become biased. Therefore, we publish breakdowns only if the unweighted sample size from four quarters of LFS data is around 3,000 or greater.
Combining some of the smaller ethnic or religions groupings resulting in more robust estimates, but this does mean that we are unable to detect what may be real differences in average exit age between some of the smaller groups.
Table 6.1: Average age of withdrawal from the labour market by ethnicity and gender, UK, annual average to Quarter 1 of each year (April to March)
Ethnic group of individual Q2 2012 - Q1 2013 Q2 2013 - Q1 2014
Men Women Men Women
White 64.8 62.8 64.8 63.2
Non-White 64.0 61.8 64.7 62.5
The only group for whom year-on-year changes can be compared is white people - which has shown a small increase of 0.4 years for women and no change for men since last year.
The sample size for non-white groups is insufficient to detect small year-on-year changes.
Source: LFS
Notes:
1. Data is rounded to the nearest 0.1 year
2. Data is subject to sampling variation and is not seasonally adjusted. Breakdowns with an unweighted sample size of less than 3,000 are not shown as sampling variation is very high, and a small sample can bias the results
3. Accuracy of data is limited due to small sample size
4. Ethnicity is self-reported
5. Due to the complicated methodology involved for this indicator, statistical significance cannot be reliably estimated unless sample sizes are exceptionally high. For this reason, information on statistical significance has not been provided for this indicator.
Table 6.2: Average age of withdrawal from the labour market by gender, UK, Quarter 1 of each year (January to March)
Age of withdrawal from labour market 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men 64.7 64.5 64.6 64.7 64.8
Women 62.6 62.8 62.4 63.0 63.2
There has been a small increase of 0.2 years for women and little change for men since last year.
Although the magnitude of the year-on-year change is considered to be small and not statistically significant, there has been a larger statistically significant one of 0.6 years
for women since 2010. This is consistent with evidence that the increase in Women's State Pension age, which is increasing from 60 in 2010 to 65 in 2018,
has led to more older women in the workforce - and hence higher retirement ages. A recent publication by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (Incentives, shocks or signals: labour supply effects of increasing the female state
pension age in the UK - Mar 2013 http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/6622), has studied this in more detail.
Notes:
1. Data is rounded to the nearest 0.1 year
2. Data is subject to sampling variation and is not seasonally adjusted. Breakdowns with an unweighted sample size of less than 3,000 are not shown as sampling variation is very high, and a small sample can bias the results
3. Accuracy of data is limited due to small sample size
Table 6.3: Average age of withdrawal from the labour market by gender and religion or belief, GB, annual average to Quarter 1 of each year (April to March)
Religion Q2 2012 - Q1 2013 Q2 2013 - Q1 2014
Men Women Men Women
No religion 64.7 62.9 64.6 63.2
Christian 64.8 62.7 64.9 63.2
Any other religion ( inc Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, Others) 64.4 62.9 64.8 62.9
Christian (the largest group) has shown a significant increase of 0.5 for women and no change for men since last year.
The sample size for 'no religion' and any other religion group are insufficient to detect small year-on-year changes.
Source: LFS
Notes:
1. Data is rounded to the nearest 0.1 years
2. Data is subject to sampling variation and is not seasonally adjusted. Breakdowns with an unweighted sample size of less than 3,000 are not shown as sampling variation is very high, and a small sample can bias the results
3. Accuracy of data is limited due to small sample size
4. Data covers Great Britain only
5. Religion or Belief is self reported
6. Due to the complicated methodology involved for this indicator, statistical significance cannot be reliably estimated unless sample sizes are exceptionally high. For this reason, information on statistical significance has not been provided for this indicator.