Pattern of Delaying Retirement Continues

The trend of recent years of delaying retirement continues, according the Labor Department data that also show however, that other factors, most notably disability, can overcome plans to defer retirement.

In an analysis of workforce trends, the department said that of people between age 55 and 64–the most common age range to move into retirement–the percentage that is not in the work force decreased by 1 percentage point to 31.7 over 2004-2014. Being retired is the most common reason for people in that age to not be working, cited by 13.8 percent in 2014–but that percentage dropped from 15.8 percent in that time.

The percentage of those not working because of home responsibilities also decreased, from 5.4 to 4.1 percent.

But those declines were largely offset by those who said they could not work because they were ill or disabled, rising from 10.7 to 12.6 percent.

The report cited other studies finding that of workers age 55 and older, 28 percent in 2004 expected to delay retirement past age 65, compared with 38 percent in 2014. And it said that while the Labor Department does not produce estimates of average retirement ages, other studies show that the average rose from 64.2 to 65 for men over that period and from 63.1 to 65 for women.