Belgium has decided to increase the minimum age for retirement from 58 to 60, in line with recommendations from the European Commission – despite trade union concerns.
Certain workers may still be able to retire at 58, though, such as shift-workers or those that though are involved in heavy manual labour. The FGTB, one of the largest trade unions in Belgium, has criticised the government plans as being a “step backwards in social legislation”.
Speaking on behalf of the organisations, Rudy De Leeuw says: “The legislation is unfair because it tends to be older people that have to move aside for younger people in the company, and they need to have the option of taking retirement early.”
Business groups have welcomed the government’s efforts to extend the retirement age.
Thomas Compernolle, speaking on behalf of business lobbying group Unizo, says: “60 is a very important milestone because the age has been heightened for two years but there are so many exceptions to the government’s_plans that in many cases the age stays at 58.”