Retirement: What Age Do Canadians Retire?

Do you know when Canadians typically retire?

Take a guess…

It’s true that 65 years old is set as the age when people can stop working and start collecting their pension or other income from government sources (Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that ALL Canadians retire exactly at age 65. Some retire earlier.

Of course, there are pros and cons to retiring early. For example, the earliest that a person can collect their Canada pension benefits is 60 years old, but they’ll receive less money each month if they do so. OAS cannot start before age 65.

In recent years, more Canadians have been delaying their retirement as life expectancies increase. This works out well for people, because their pension benefits grow over time.

The Average Retirement Age of Canadians

In 2020 the average retirement age for all retirees in Canada was 64.5 years old, according to Statistics Canada. But let’s dive deeper into the data to see if that age changes based on job sector, gender, and year.

They split into three classes of workers: Public sector, Private sector, and Self-employed.

The average retirement age for public sector employees in 2020 was 62.4. Private sector employees retired at 64.7 years of age on average, and self-employed workers retired at a much older 68 years old on average.

Retirement Age in Canada Based on Gender

In 2020 the average retirement age for males in Canada was 65.2, up from 64.2 in 2016. Interestingly, self-employed males have the highest retirement age average at 68.8 years old.

Females on the other hand averaged 63.6 years old when they retired in 2020, up slightly from 62.9 average in 2016. Self-employed females retire at age 66.5 on average, while private sector females retire at at 64.3 on average.

Source: Statistics Canada

Looking Back Throughout The Decades

If we look much further back, the average age of retirement in Canada has changed dramatically but stabilized in recent years.

The median age was around 65 in the late 1970s, then declined considerably throughout the 1980s to below 64.

More recently in the past two decades, women have retired earlier than men, averaging their retirement age close to 60, while men have been closer to 62-63.

See Statistics Canada’s Fact Sheet On Retirement for more interesting retirement history.

If you would like to learn about what age you should retire at click here to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our Certified Financial Planners.

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