EUROPE - European governments are acting to tackle the growing pressure on retirement income, but doing so puts them at increase odds with their voters, according to consulting firm Mercer.
A study into state retirement ages indicates government representatives do acknowledge the funding of pensions can no longer be handled solely by the state as most European governments are now acting to increase their minimum age ranges.
More specifically, women's retirement ages are increasingly being rationalised to match the state normal retirement age of men.
But doing so, notes Yvonne Sonsino, head of Mercer's international retirement business in the UK, means the strike scenes witnessed in France and Greece recently could be a reflection of further pressure to come.
"Western Europe is in a particularly difficult position with an ageing workforce an a history of generous social security provision. Passing pension legislation faces the enormous challenge of politicians seeking to retain the support of their voters. Recent strikes and disturbances in France have highlighted the sensitivities involved but also the seriousness of the issues," said Sonsino.
State normal retirement age increases
Men Women Time period
Austria 60 to 65 2024 - 2033
Belgium 64 to 65 2009
Czech Republic 63 59-63 2013
Denmark 65 to 67 65 to 67 2024 - 2027
Germany 65 to 67 65 to 67 2012 - 2029
Hungary 62 to 65 61/62 to 64 2020
Hungary 69 68 2050
Italy 57 to 61 57 to 61 2013
Turkey 60 58 insure pre Sept '99
Turkey 41 to 56 41 to 56 insure Sept '99+
UK 65 65 2020
UK 68 68 2024 and 2046
Mercer colleague Giles Archibald notes governments are moving to increase their retirement ages, as the table shows, yet additional work is needed to ensure longevity is sufficiently tackled.
"Governments are increasingly looking to the private sector to supplement social security - placing more pressure on employer resources. However, as social security is eroded, so innovative company-sponsored retirement plans are becoming a more attractive for companies to recruit the best talent and remain competitive," said Archibald.
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