In a new study, researchers found that men and women who do physically demanding jobs may have poorer mental and body health if they delay their retirement.
The research was led by a team from Curtin University.
In the study, the team analyzed data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey.
They aimed to determine whether early or traditional retirement had a significant impact on an individual’s physical or mental health.
The researchers also examined whether someone’s job type, gender, access to superannuation funds and geographical location affected this.
They found that there are no significant physical or mental health effects for males and females if they retire early or at the ‘traditional age’ of 65.
However, men and women with labor-intensive jobs experienced lower physical and mental health if they retired later than the age of 65 compared with those who worked in professional and managerial jobs.
The findings show the impact of jobs, financial status and living location on health when people retire.
Workforce planning and flexible work arrangements are crucial to people’s health, and policymakers need to find suitable ways to address this issue.
Currently, in Australia, there has no mandatory retirement age, people who are looking to retire are currently able to access their age pension at 65 or older.
The qualifying age for access to age pension will increase by six months every two years to 67 years by July 2023.
With the introduction of new reforms to delay when people can access these funds, it could have serious health implications for some of the aging population.
The team hopes that the new findings may be of interest to policymakers, who need to consider people’s work burden, financial access, and geographical location when making these decisions. Age alone is not enough.
The lead author of the study is Associate Professor Kantha Dayaram, from the School of Management at Curtin University.
The study is published in Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society.
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