AUSTRIA - The Austrian government should abolish all incentives for early retirement, according to the OECD's latest country survey.

The OECD said Austria had one of the lowest actual retirement ages compared with the statutory retirement age, which is 60 for women and 65 for men.

However, women are retiring at 57.5 on average, while men are retiring at 58.9.

By comparison, people in most other OECD countries retire just one or two years below the statutory retirement age.

The organisation pointed out that this was mainly due to the high number of people exiting the labour market through disability pensions, as well as still existing early retirement programmes.

It said: "All subsidies that encourage early retirement [in Austria] should be eliminated, while benefits and social transfers - which amount to 20% of GDP - should be better targeted."

It added that the provision that time spent in non-compulsory education can be substituted for regular years of contributions by paying a high lump-sum per month was "particularly problematic", as it "increases the incentive for high-skilled individuals to leave the labour market".

The OECD said the increase of this lump sum this year did not help to solve the problem.

On a positive note, the OECD said the introduction in 2011 of the right for rehabilitation in addition to compulsory rehabilitation before eligibility for a disability pension and initiatives to improve work-place quality were "steps in the right direction".