February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Retirement age in European countries – the lowest and highest

Three days ago, on January 10, the French government introduced a pension reform: by 2030, the retirement age will be raised to 64 years, from the current 62 years. Which countries in Europe have the lowest and highest retirement ages? And how long is life expectancy in retirement?

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Born spoke about plans to force the French to work longer, thus increasing the period of required pension contributions to 43 years. The innovation will come into force by 2027, and the retirement age will gradually increase every year, starting in September 2023, by six months. Thus, by 2030, he will reach the mark of 64 years.

Sharp criticism of the reform from the ultra-right and ultra-left accompanied the protests of trade unions and citizens, who were concerned that the changes planned by the government would hit the poor in the first place.

However, the increase in the retirement age is observed in most OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, so the trend is not limited to France. What is the expected number of years in retirement? At what age do Europeans leave the labor market? What is the minimum retirement age in Europe? The experts analyzed the data provided by Euronews.

Each country has its own practice of defining minimum retirement age, according to the OECD and the Pensions at a Glance report. Sources use information for 2020, the latest available data that analyzes current and future retirement ages for those who began their work experience at age 22.

Now the retirement age includes two types: standard and early. Age early retirement for men it varies from 59 years in Lithuania to 63.7 years in Germany, for women – from 58 years in Lithuania to 63.7 years in Germany. In France, the age of early retirement is 62 for both men and women, as, indeed, in almost half of European countries – Sweden, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Austria.

AT actual retirement age there is a greater variation: for men from 52 years old in Turkey to 67 years old in Norway and Iceland, for women – from 49 years old in Turkey to 67 years old in Norway and Iceland. Average for EU is 64.3 years for men and 63.5 years for women.

France now has a retirement age of 64.5 for men and women, according to the OECD, slightly higher than the EU average. But lower than in some other EU member states – in Germany, for example, this figure is 65.7 years for men and women.

Minimum current retirement age in Europe, with the exception of Turkey, 62 years for men and 60 years for women. In most European countries, according to available OECD data, the current retirement age is 65 years or more. Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Slovenia have the lowest current retirement age in the EU – 62 for both men and women.

Expected years of retirement is the life expectancy since the actual withdrawal from the labor market. The figure has increased significantly over time. For example, in 1970 men in OECD countries had, on average, 12 years of life after leaving the labor market, and by 2020 they could expect to spend 19.5 years in retirement.

Women’s life expectancy at the time of leaving the labor market was noticeably higher: in 1970 it was 16 years on average for OECD countries, and by 2020 it has increased to 23.8 years. At the same time, the gap between men and women has slightly increased.

The difference between women and men in expected years of retirement ranges from 2.0 years in Ireland to 7.5 years in Cyprus. By 2020, European women can generally expect to live 4.3 years longer than men after leaving the labor market. The EU average is 4.6 years between retired men and women, while in France the gender gap is 3.6 years in favor of women.

Expected life expectancy in retirement varies throughout Europe. For men, it ranges from 14 years in Latvia to 24 years in Luxembourg, for women from 18.9 years in Latvia to 28.4 years in Greece. In Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain, women are expected to retire for 26 years or more.

France is in the top three in “expected years of retirement”, performing strong, coming in second among men (23.5 years) and third among women (27.1 years) compared to its European neighbors.

What will be the retirement age by 2060? The OECD estimates that by the mid-2060s, the retirement age in member countries will increase, on average, by about two years. The highest retirement age, analysts suggest, will be in Denmark – 74 years for men and women. In many countries, the actual retirement age may be around 65 or even 66. Expectedthat in the European Union the retirement age by 2060 will be 66.1 years for men and 65.9 years for women.

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