EUROPE - One-third of Europeans currently employed say they would like to continue working even after they become entitled to a pension, according to a Eurostat survey announced by the European Commission.

This proportion ranges from more than half of respondents in Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and the UK to just over 20% in Spain and Italy, and 16% in Slovenia.
Almost two-thirds of Europeans believe they should be allowed to continue working beyond official retirement age, according to employment and social affairs Commissioner László Andor, who pointed to variations across EU member states.

At one extreme, nine out of 10 respondents in Denmark and the Netherlands believe they should be able to continue working, while only three out 10 respondents agree in Greece, Romania, Italy and Slovenia.

Another finding in the survey is that, the older people get, the more inclined they are to continue working.

Just over 40% of those aged 55 and older were keen to work beyond pension entitlement age, Andor said. This contrasts with younger respondents, where the range was 30-33%.

At present, the average exit age from the labour market is 61.5 years, according to Eurostat. However, 42% of Europeans believe they would be capable of carrying out their current work until the age of 65, or beyond.

An additional 28% think they would be able to continue their current work until the age of 60-64.

Eurostat’s survey also found that 71% of EU citizens were aware that the population was getting older, but only 42% said they were concerned about this.

The Commission said this was in stark contrast with the perception of policymakers, who largely regard demographic ageing as a major challenge.

Andor said active ageing was important because, since 1960, life expectancy had climbed by eight years, while demographic projections anticipate a further five-year increase over the next four or five decades.

“We are all living longer and, together with low birth rates, Europe’s population is ageing fast,” he said.