NETHERLANDS - The average retirement age of Dutch workers quickly rose by one year to 62 in 2007, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

During the previous six years, the average retirement age remained constant at 61, a fact which CBS attributed to a change in legislation to limit early retirement arrangements.

The government ended the tax advantages to early retirement schemes in 2006, after increasing the fiscal stimulus for older workers.

Statistics Netherlands said he numbers of workers retiring before the age of 60 in particular has decreased from 18,000 on average between 2004 and 2006 to 8,000 in 2007.

This decrease was most clearly seen among public sector workers, whose average retirement age went up by almost two years in 2007, the CBS found.

It attributed this jump to the effect of the ‘Remkes scheme', which had allowed civil servants aged over the age of 57 to leave with at least 70% of their final salary in 2005.

Despite this shift, however, the average retirement age of civil servants is still low compared to workers in the agricultural sector and fishing industry, who stop working at the average age of 64.

Employees in the care sector retire the earliest at the age of 61 on average, according to the CBS.

Statistics Netherlands further found that since 2006 the average retirement age of men has risen by six months to 62.1, compared to their female colleagues, albeit the body noted there was no difference in retirement age between the sexes between 2000 and 2006.

The CBS, which based its calculations on integral counts, added workers' level of education made little difference to their chosen retirement age in 2007.

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