Age at retirement, by sex

The retirement age started dropping in the mid-1980s

  • The median age of retirement has fallen dramatically in the past two decades. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, it hovered around age 65. But it started dropping quickly in the late 1980s and continued to do so until it bottomed out at age 60.6 in 1997; it remained at or near that level in subsequent years. This decline most likely originated in 1987, when the minimum age at which one could begin drawing benefits from the Canada Pension Plan was lowered from 65 to 60 (with reduced benefits). The continued drop in the median age at retirement was associated with widespread government cutbacks and corporate downsizing in the 1990s, combined with early retirement incentives. In 2007, the median age of retirement was 61.1.

  • The median age at retirement was about the same for both sexes until the mid-1990s. After that, the median age declined more for women than for men. In 2007, the median age of retirement was 61.4 for men and 60.6 for women.

Chart M.2
Median age at retirement, by sex, 1976 to 2007

Chart M.2  Median age at retirement, by sex, 1976 to 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0051.

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