Canadians delaying retirement plans

Canadians are putting off their retirement plans and working later across all education levels, Statistics Canada said today.

According to an analysis the agency published Tuesday, Canadian workers are retiring later today than they did in the 1990s. And the trend holds true across all education levels.

Among those with less than a high school diploma, a 50-year-old worker in 2009 could expect to work another 14.3 years before retiring, Statistics Canada said. That's two years longer than the same worker could have expected to work in 1998.

The gap widens for those with more education. A 50-year-old worker with a post-secondary degree could expect to work another 14.6 years in 2009, up from just 12 years in 1998.

So workers are staying on at least two more years, on average, than they used to before retiring.

The analysis also found that less-educated workers aged 50 have a life expectancy after retirement of 18 years, compared to 21 years among workers with a post-secondary education.

Those calculations include people who leave the workforce against their will, for reasons such as being laid off, illness or having to care for a family member. Such "involuntary retirements" make up about one-quarter of all retirees, Statistics Canada says.

Add it all up, and the agency says the average 50-year-old worker across all demographic groups could expect to work longer than a counterpart in 1998.