Denmark’s pensions and insurance lobby said workers in the Nordic country’s public sector retire much earlier than their private-sector counterparts, and efforts should be made to keep them in work.

Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD) said today in a statement on the matter that employees in the public sector retire on average a year and four months earlier than do those in the private sector.

Kent Damsgaard, chief executive officer of the industry association, said: “It is so important that we have a strong and flexible pension system that provides the option both of staying in a job for a long time and of retiring earlier.”

After all, he said, the employed had different needs and opportunities.

“But it is quite worrying that for such a large group of employees in the public sector we can see people systematically retiring earlier than the rest of the labour market,” the CEO said.

“It clearly shows that there is huge potential if you get better at retaining, for example, experienced nurses and social and health workers longer in their jobs,” he said.

In a situation where a lack of skilled employees was putting serious pressure on welfare, IPD said, there was huge potential to be had if the public sector became better at retaining employees.

The lobby group said it estimated employment in Denmark would increase by 16,000 people were the retirement age in the public sector to be at the same level as that of the private sector.

IPD said analysis it had done showed there had been a clear development in recent years towards private-sector employees retiring later and later, but that the same trend had been at a slower pace in the public sector.

“There is a marked difference in the development of the retirement age when we compare the private and the public sector,” Damsgaard said.

“In the next few years, we will have to have found sustainable solutions for securing welfare, so there are really good reasons for our politicians and public leaders to focus keenly on how the experienced public employees can be kept in their jobs,” the CEO said.

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