NETHERLANDS - The age at which Dutch workers retire has increased for the fourth consecutive year and now stands at 62.7 years on average, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

It attributed the trend to legal measures, introduced in 2006, aiming to discourage early retirement.

According to the CBS, the retirement age for Dutch employees was, on average, 61 between 2000 and 2006. It increased to 62 in 2007 and has further increased since 2008.

Statistics Netherlands found that, in 2010, only 6% of retiring workers were under 60, down from more than 25% before 2007.

Meanwhile, the proportion of employees retiring at 65 has increased from 16% in 2006 to 27% in 2010, it said.

The rise of the retirement age has occurred across all sectors, but most notably in transport, storage, communication and the public sector, where it has increased by 2.5 years on average.

The sectors of trade and repair, as well as the building industry, saw the smallest increase, with builders retiring earliest, at 61.7 on average.

The retirement age in agriculture and fisheries, at 65.7 years, is the highest.

The Dutch parliament recently agreed in principle to an increase of the official retirement age from 65 to 66 in 2020 and to 67 in 2025, after employers, employees and the minister of social affairs reached an agreement on a new pensions contract.

However, the unions could still scupper the deal by rejecting the accord during a final consultation in September.