Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely.
A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.
Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions no longer allow the person to work any longer (by illness or accident) or as a result of legislation concerning their position.
In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Previously, low life expectancy and the absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death.
Germany was the first country to introduce retirement, in 1889.
Nowadays most developed countries have systems to provide pensions on retirement in old age, which may be sponsored by employers and/or the state.
In many poorer countries, support for the old is still mainly provided through the family.
Today, retirement with a pension is considered a right of the worker in many societies, and hard ideological, social, cultural and political battles have been fought over whether this is a right.
In many western countries this right is mentioned in national constitutions.
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