Premature retirement due to ill health and poverty: a cross-sectional study of older workers

Schofield, Deborah J., Callander, Emily J., Shrestha, Rupendra N., Percival, Richard, Kelly, Simon J., and Passey, Megan E. (2013) Premature retirement due to ill health and poverty: a cross-sectional study of older workers. BMJ Open, 3 (5). e002683. pp. 1-6.

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Objectives: To assess the income-poverty status of Australians who were aged between 45 and 64 years and were out of the labour force due to ill health.

Design: A cross-sectional study using a microsimulation model of the 2009 Australian population (Health&WealthMOD).

Setting: 2009 Australian population.

Participants: 9198 people aged between 45 and 64 years surveyed for the 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.

Primary outcome measures: 50% of the median equivalised income-unit-income poverty line.

Results: It was found that individuals who had retired early due to other reasons were significantly less likely to be in income poverty than those retired due to ill health (OR 0.43 95% CI 0.33 to 0.51), and there was no significant difference in the likelihood of being in income poverty between these individuals and those unemployed. Being in the same family as someone who is retired due to illness also significantly increases an individual's chance of being in income poverty.

Conclusions: It can be seen that being retired due to illness impacts both the individual and their family.

Item ID: 41230
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2044-6055
Keywords: poverty; chronic health conditions; labour force participation
Additional Information:

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Pfizer, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2015 04:02
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 50%
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