Recession Increased Retirement Delays

Research from The Conference Board reveals that the 2008-2009 economic recession has increased pressure on individuals to delay retirement.

Using data from its Consumer Confidence Survey, The Conference Board found 33% of households that didn’t suffer from asset or labor loss caused by the recession said at least one member of their household will delay retirement, compared to 44% who suffered an asset loss and 55% who suffered a labor loss. Nearly seven out of ten respondents (68%) reporting both an asset and labor loss during the recession indicated they or a member of their household is planning to delay retirement.  

According to the research, the health industry experienced the largest decline in retirement rates post-recession. In 2009-2010, only 1.6% of full-time workers aged 55-64 retired within 12 months, compared with almost 4% in 2004-2007.    

The construction industry also experienced a large decline in retirement rates. This is likely the result of a long slump in the industry, which resulted in many laid-off workers trying to stay in the labor force to make up for lost income.    

There was essentially no retirement delay among government workers. The Conference Board said that is expected, since these workers are more likely to receive defined benefits, making them more insulated from the decline in financial asset values in their pensions.