Canadians are working about three years longer before retirement than they were in the 1990s, and have a longer life in retirement, an official study said Wednesday.
Statistics Canada, the federal statistics agency, reports that Canada' s men and women, who don't face compulsory retirement, are increasingly choosing to delay retirement, as part of a long-term trend that has begun before the recent recession.
The trend of later retirement dates back to the mid-1990s, when a 50-year-old employee could expect to work another 12.5 years before retiring from the daily grind.
Today, that same 50-year-old worker could expect another 16 years of employment.
The study says that 34 percent of Canadians aged 55 and older were employed in 2010, compared to just 22 percent in 1996.
A longer working life would unnecessarily imply a shorter life in retirement due to increased life expectancy, the study says.
The study notes that men and women leaving the work force today are spending as much time in their post-career life as many of their predecessors did.
For example, between 1977 and 1994, the typical retirement length for a man in Canada rose from 11.2 to 15.4 years; as of 2008, it was 15 years.
For women, the average retirement length similarly rose from 16.4 to 20.6 years between 1977 and 1996; as of 2008, it was 19 years.
From another point of observation, 50-year-old men can expect to spend 48 percent of their remaining years of life in retirement in 2008,compared with 45 percent in 1977.
In 2008, 50-year-old women could expect to spend 55 percent of their remaining years of life in retirement, nearly identical to the proportion in 1977.