Watch out for the 'grudge workforce'

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More than 1.3 million Australian baby boomers think they will be working beyond their 75th birthday because they do not have enough money for retirement.

A new report from Suncorp Superannuation – called The Rise of the Grudge Years – shows there is a decade of disconnect between the ideal and real retirement age, leaving many Australians in the workforce longer than they would like.

There may be an unprecedented explosion in the grey collar workforce over the next 10 years as many Australians will be forced to work through their golden years.

“Adding a decade to your working life out of necessity, not choice, is a serious concern,” Suncorp’s Everyday Super head Lisa Harrison said.

“Our research reveals that retirement isn’t a reality for a quarter of Australians over the age of 65. The saying ‘working till the grave’ is a worrying proposition for a growing number of Australians.”

One-third of all Australians think they will have to work 10 or more years past the age they would like to stop working, and almost one in five think they will have to work 15 years past their ideal retirement age.

What is even more worrying is more than seven million Australians believe they will not be physically and mentally capable of working past their 80th birthday.

But the new research shows 2.6 million might not have a choice – creating a “grudge” workforce, said Harrison.

The findings:
  • Grey collar workforce to grow 52% in the next decade
  • One in three baby boomers (1.8 million) need $300,000 or more in their super before they retire
  • For baby boomers the average age of ideal retirement is 65, but the reality is almost half won’t retire until they are in their 70’s.