Commonwealth Bank media release


Almost three quarters of older workers across Australia are optimistic about staying in the workforce (71%) and are willing to stay in the workforce for longer (72%), according to the FSC-CBA Older Workers Report 2015.

Financial security is the major reason older workers continue to keep working (61%) followed by reasons such as personal enjoyment, a sense of accomplishment, and freedom and independence. Just under one third of older workers have applied for a new job since turning 50, indicating job satisfaction remains a key driver for older workers.

Sally Loane, Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Council said: “The Intergenerational Report released by the Federal Treasurer earlier this year made it clear that Australians will be living longer than ever. Because of this, retirement at 60 – unless it is due to poor health or caring responsibilities – is beginning to seem redundant.

“The Federal Government has made it clear that our nation needs older workers as it benefits their wellbeing, the economy and the broader community. And, as the FSC-CBA Older Workers Report has shown, the majority of older workers are happy to stay in the workforce for longer.

“We are also beginning to see a positive shift in how society and the workplace values older workers. Employers are increasingly embracing the unique skills and experience that older workers contribute and are introducing programs to train and retrain mature staff.

“The good news is that age discrimination towards older workers has more than halved to 13 per cent in this year’s survey compared to 28 per cent in 2012. Nearly half of the survey respondents reported experiencing no barriers to continuing to work. From a macro perspective, it appears the circumstances are just right to promote the workforce participation of mature age Australians,” Ms Loane said.

Nicolette Rubinsztein, General Manager Retirement, Commonwealth Bank said sustaining a comfortable retirement is a priority for older workers. The report found two thirds of older workers (65%) are satisfied they have sufficient funds put aside to retire, a significant increase from 2012 where satisfaction levels with retirement savings were below 50 per cent.  

“Australians’ attitudes towards retirement are changing. No longer is the road to retirement such a defined path but providing older workers with the support and flexibility to continue working until the time is right for them to retire and for reasons they choose.    

“Flexible working arrangements have played an important role in encouraging older workers to stay in the workforce, allowing them to maintain a healthy work/life balance and provide the freedom and financial means to attend to their personal and family needs. The majority (55%) of older workers prefer to work part time for their remaining work life and one in three 60-64 year olds expect to work for another five years.

“But it is important to recognise that every person has their unique journey and there is no ‘one size fits all approach’.  Older workers have varied reasons for continuing to work such as personal enjoyment, a sense of belonging or saving enough money to retire. Importantly, supporting older workers in the workforce is paramount to addressing our longevity challenges and maintaining the health of our retirement system,” Ms Rubinsztein said.

Older workers – those aged between 50 and 74 – make up a significant number of the 11.5 million Australians in the workforce. According to the 2015 Intergenerational Report participation rates among those aged 65 and over are projected to increase from 12.9 per cent in 2014-15 to 17.3 per cent in 2054-55.

About the Older Workers Report

The 2015 Older Workers Report is now in its third year and explores the public attitudes towards Australia’s mature age workforce, from the perspective of employers and older workers themselves. The report details the findings from a national quantitative telephone survey of 500 respondents aged between 50 and 75 years in July 2015 and ten qualitative in-depth interviews conducted with employers and Human Resources Manages across a range of sectors, including engineering, retail, hospitality and professional services.

To download a copy of the 2015 Older Workers Report click here.

Other Key Findings

  • 61% of older workers keep working for financial security
  • Older workers would like to work for an average of six years longer
  • One in three 60-64 year olds expect to work for another 5 years but only 10% for another ten years
  • 41% of respondents expect to be paid exactly the same as any equivalent employee
  • 69% of older workers have not applied for a job since turning 50
  • Job satisfaction remains a key driver for 52% of those who have not applied for a new job
  • 17% of older workers have been made redundant since turning 50
  • Females are more likely than males to not apply for a job once made redundant
  • 61% of older workers have been offered training/ up skilling services  at the workplace and taken them up
  • 55% have a preference for working part time for their remaining working life


About the Financial Services Council

The Financial Services Council represents Australia's retail and wholesale funds management businesses, superannuation funds, life insurers, financial advisory networks, trustee companies and Public Trustees. The Council has over 110 members who are responsible for investing more than $2.5 trillion on behalf of 11.5 million Australians. The pool of funds under management is larger than Australia’s GDP and the capitalisation of the Australian Securities Exchange and is the fourth largest pool of managed funds in the world. The Financial Services Council promotes best practice for the financial services industry by setting mandatory Standards for its members and providing Guidance Notes to assist in operational efficiency.

About the Commonwealth Bank

The Commonwealth Bank is Australia's leading provider of integrated financial services, including retail, premium, business and institutional banking, funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment and share-broking products and services.

As Australia’s largest bank, we have more branches, ATMs, EFTPOS networks, agencies and 24/7 call centres, as well as an internationally-recognised internet banking service. The Bank’s vision is to excel at securing and enhancing the financial wellbeing of people, businesses and communities. The Commonwealth Bank is a long-standing supporter of the community and contributes to individuals, schools, communities and organisations through the Staff Community Fund, sponsorship programs, volunteering and community grants.

Commonwealth Bank commenced operations in 1912 and today the Group has grown to a business with over 800,000 shareholders, 52,000 employees and offers a full range of financial services to help Australians build and manage their wealth, with established businesses in New Zealand, US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Media contacts:

Zoe Viellaris
Commonwealth Bank
+61 (2) 9118 6919 or +61 (0) 477 342 564

Robyn Tolhurst
Financial Services Council
+61 (2) 9299 3022 or +61 (0) 411 177 773