SWEDEN - Swedes tend to retire at the age of 65, but they would continue working for longer if employment and working conditions were improved, a study has found.

Research by the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten) showed that, even though flexible retirement is possible from the age of 61, the norm is for workers to stop work at 65.

Ole Settergren, head of pensions development at the agency, said: "The most common reasons why people retire is the ability to have more time for leisure, family and friends, the opportunity to receive an occupational pension and the fact they have simply planned to retire at 65 for a long time."

The survey polled 2,000 people aged between 61 and 70 years, half of whom had already started drawing a public pension.

The agency, which runs all national pensions in the country, noted that politicians in Sweden were debating what could be done to make people work for longer.

According to the survey results, it said, the answer was to increase the economic advantages of working, offer the opportunity to work part-time and allow people to work flexible hours.

The report also found that senior officials and managers tend to retire late, while women with low education, tough jobs or health problems tend to retire early.