As the 1979 Youth cohort approached their fifties, questions were added in anticipation of a growing concern with retirement.

In 2006, a small experimental design was implemented, seeking to gauge how respondents would reply to retirement questions at different points in the questionnaire and how respondents actually thought about and defined retirement for themselves. A random sample of 991 respondents were asked about the likelihood they would not be working for pay at specified ages once directly after the Employer Supplement(s) were completed and again at the end of the survey (after talking about income, assets and their consumption and risk preferences). Additionally, at the end of the survey, this experimental sample was asked how they would define retirement for themselves. Half were given discrete response categories from which to choose. The full verbatim responses of the other half were recorded in an open-ended question. Following this, the entire experimental sample was asked about different ways they might have sought to learn about and prepare for retirement.

In the 2008, 2010 and 2012 survey years, retirement questions were asked of all respondents toward the end of the survey after discussions of income and assets.  The 2006 experimental questions following the Employer Supplements were dropped in 2008, as was the open-ended experimental question on defining retirement. However, responses from the open-ended were used to refine and augment the discrete response categories provided to define retirement in 2008. Respondents continued to be asked the likelihood of working for pay at specified ages and about activities they might engage in to learn about and prepare for retirement.

Note: Information on retirement income can be found in the Pension Benefits & Pension Plans section of this Users Guide.

Survey Instruments and Documentation Questions about retirement expectations can be found in the following sections: Retirement Expectations Part I (2006), Retirement Expectations Part II (2006), and Retirement Expectations (2008, 2010, 2012).  
Areas of Interest Retirement Expectations variables are found in the "Retirement" area of interest.