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Danish government drops plan for pension age increase

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Denmark’s prime minister has definitively retreated from his plan to increase the state pension age by six months, after admitting he was unlikely to win broad political support for the move.

Lars Løkke Rasmussen wanted to increase the state pension age from 67 to 67.5 years from 2025.

Resistance to the increase in the pension age came particularly from the two largest parties in the Danish Parliament, the Social Democrats and the Danish Peoples’ Party, according to national broadcaster DR.

Løkke Rasmussen said in an interview with DR: “A broad majority, which also includes the Social Democrats and the Danish Peoples’ Party, has already decided that the state pension age should rise gradually, if Danes are living longer.”

Danes were living longer than had been previously reckoned, and the labour market lacked extra capacity, he said.

“Therefore it would be reasonable to adjust settlement to create greater equality between generations and ensure our progress and prosperity,” he said.

But Conservative Party (Venstre) leader Løkke Rasmussen said it was extremely difficult to see broad support for the measure.

“The government has therefore decided that the plans we will present in a week’s time will not contain that element,” he said.

As the law stands, people born between 1956 and 1962 are entitled to receive a state pension at the age of 67. Under the plan that has now been dropped, this age would have increased by six months to 67.5 years.

Løkke Rasmussen has proposed the increase in the state pension age several times over the last 12 months, according to DR, but he has now said that the idea had been finally laid to rest.

However, he also said on television that the government would continue to work towards making it easier for people to stay in the labour market for longer i they wanted – an outcome the prime minister said was necessary if the country was to free up money for welfare.

“We are still going to come out with an initiative that will be about motivating Danes to stay a bit longer in the workforce,” Løkke Rasmussen said.

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