Six in ten workers would like to retire at 60 or before according to Royal London Ireland survey

Published  16 May 2023
   3 min read
  • Six in ten workers would like to retire at 60 or before
  • Less than one in five want to wait until the State Pension age of 66 to retire
  • Twice as many men as women would give up working today if they could

Most Irish people would retire at the age of 60 (36pc) with 21 pc wanting to retire at the age of 50 if they could afford to, and a further one in five (18pc) would stop working today if finances allowed, a new survey[1]  by Royal London Ireland has found.

Commenting on the survey findings, Mark Reilly, Pension Proposition Lead with Royal London Ireland said:

“Retiring at 60 was the most preferred option – with 36pc of respondents saying that they believe this to be the ideal. But what was really interesting to see was that while people often joke of being able to retire early – the truth is, it’s not for everyone.

Just one in five (21pc) would choose to retire at 50 if it was available to them. And one in twelve (8pc) say they never want to fully retire. This shows that there is a cohort of society for whom the ability to continue to work beyond the traditional retirement age is hugely important.

There can be a lot of hours to fill when you retire so for many people, work gives them a sense of purpose and identity, as well as a daily routine – all of which can be lost at retirement unless adequate preparation is put in.”

Additional findings from the Royal London Ireland Retirement Aspirations survey reveal that:

  • Twice as many men as women would like to retire today if they could (24pc of men versus 12pc of women).
  • About one in four (25pc) of those aged between 18 and 24 said they would retire today if finances allowed, compared to about one in six (16pc) of those aged between 45 and 54 and about one in eight (12pc) of those aged 55 plus.
  • Women are more inclined than men to want to work until the age of 66 (15pc of women versus 10pc of men).
  • About one in twelve (8pc) said they never want to fully retire, with a higher proportion of those aged 55 plus feeling this way (13pc versus the national average of 8pc).
  • Dubliners were more likely than those living in Munster to cite 50 as the ideal retirement age (20pc versus 14pc), and men were slightly more inclined than woman to say so (23pc versus 19pc).
  • Early retirement is very much high on the wish list of the young with those aged between 18 and 24 being the most likely age cohort hoping to retire at 50.

Mr Reilly continued:

“While many dream of giving up work well before the normal retirement age, early retirement may not be as blissful as people expect. People often underestimate the amount of money they need to have saved up for retirement, as well as the amount of money they will spend at that stage of their lives.

If people want to retire early, it’s important that they are realistic about how much they will need financially to live comfortably and how much time they have to save up for it. Often, the nearer people approach retirement, the more they become aware of the financial reality of it.

So, it is no surprise that our survey found that those in their mid-forties and onwards were the least likely to say they’d give up work today if they could.”



Survey footnotes

[1] Of 900 workers nationwide carried out by IReach


Royal London Ireland Retirement Aspirations Survey 2023

Q. In an ideal world, and assuming money is no object, what age would you like to retire at?

·         50                                                               21%

·         60                                                               36%

·         The current State retirement age of 66  12%

·         70                                                                 5%

·         I’d stop working today if I could            18%

·         I never want to fully retire                      8%

About Royal London Ireland

Royal London Ireland has a history of protecting its policyholders and their families in Ireland, and recently launched a new Pensions business in Ireland. Our business heritage in Ireland is nearly 200 years. The Caledonian Insurance Company's first office outside Edinburgh opened on Dame Street, Dublin 2 in 1824.

Today, Royal London Ireland is owned by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited – the largest mutual life insurance, pensions, and investment company in the UK, and in the top 25 mutuals globally, with assets under management of €178 billion, 8.6 million policies in force, and 4,100 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2023.

Royal London Ireland’s office is based at 47-49 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.