Pension reform across Europe
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The French government's push to overhaul its pension system, notably to raise the retirement age to 62, follows recent like-minded measures across Europe. FRANCE 24 has an overview of the EU members that will see pension reforms in coming years.
France is only one of several European countries where pensions have become a top domestic issue. Both left and right-leaning governments have recently introduced pension reforms, citing deteriorating state finances and the need to shore up their social security systems in view of rapidly greying workforces.
According to Allianz, a leading German financial services company, public pension expenditure for the European Union as a whole stood at 11.4 percent of GDP in 2004, and is forecast to increase to 12.8 percent by 2050.
Below is an overview of European countries that have introduced measures to increase the retirement age, or have expressed their intention to do so in coming years.
The statutory retirement age in Germany is 65. Recent reforms will increase the retirement age to 67 by 2029.
With a slightly more favourable demographic development than the EU as a whole, the statutory retirement age is set at 65 for men and 60 for women.
Current reforms have slated a new retirement age for women from 60 to 65 by 2020 and 68 for both sexes by 2046.
Spain faces one of world’s most severe demographic challenges, with almost one in three Spaniards over 65 by 2049, according to government estimates.
The retirement age is currently 65 for both men and women. While early retirement is possible at 60, pension payments are substantially reduced in this case.
The ruling Socialist government has adopted legislation to raise the retirement age to 67, with the reform to be introduced gradually from 2013.
The retirement age in the Netherlands is 65. The Dutch government has decided to raise it gradually to 67 by 2025.
Italy’s current retirement age is 65 for men and 60 for women, but since the length of contribution also counts, actual exit ages can be considerably lower.
Legislation adopted in 2007 marks the minimum retirement age at 60 in 2011 and 61 in 2013.
According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), public pension expenditure will increase to almost 25 percent of Italian GDP by 2050, about twice as high as the value projected for the EU.
The retirement age is 65 for men and 62 for women, but under significant pressure from the Eurozone group, Greece’s Socialist government has introduced changes to its pensions system to curb massive debt.
The retirement age for women will rise to 65 to match that of men, but women and men will still be able to retire earlier provided they have worked at least 37 years.
French lawmakers have cited Sweden’s 1994 pension legislation as a model for future changes to its own system. Under Sweden’s reforms, which split retirement plans between private and public schemes, the minimum pension age is set at 61 for both men and women, with no maximum retirement age.
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