Retirement Before Age 65:

Trends, Costs, and National Issues

HRD-86-86: Published: Jul 16, 1986. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on early retirement for individuals who have employer-sponsored pensions, including private, federal, state, local, and military plans.

GAO analyses showed that: (1) the percentage of the population receiving employer-sponsored pensions at ages younger than 65 has increased rapidly; (2) individuals with employer-sponsored pension income have much lower labor-force participation rates than nonrecipients of the same age and sex; and (3) the resulting earlier retirements represent a potentially significant loss in federal revenue. GAO found that: (1) some legislative changes have reduced incentives for early retirement and removed obstacles to older worker employment; and (2) additional proposed changes would further remove some of the financial incentives to early retirement from public and private plans.

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