Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rising retirement age north & south [DK] [GR]

The political debate about the sustainability of static retirement age in the face of rising life expectancy in European countries is beginning to bear fruit. While Alpha Bank of Greece expects (according to this article in Handelsblatt) that the retirement age for recent job starters will have to rise to 75 from the current average of about 60, the local politicians apparently do not grasp the seriousness of the situation quite yet.

Meanwhile, up north in Denmark, a broad consensus among the most important political parties has resulted in an agreement to reform the country's social security system. According to a recent article in NZZ which is not available online, the average productive period of a Danish person went from 40.5 years in 1979 down to 38.5 years in 2005, while at the same time, life expectancy rose by 2.25 years, resulting in the prolongation of the average pension duration from 19.25 years to 21.5 years.

The pragmatic Danes have resolved to raise the retirement age to 67 (from 65) by about 2025. Thereafter, the retirement age will be adapted dynamically to the average life expectancy, which is probably the most sustainable approach.

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