Danes Buck Trend for Working Longer

Encouraging people to work longer and retire later is part of the EU’s employment strategy and its Lisbon targets – but the Danes are bucking the general trend.

Instead of the average retirement age rising in Denmark, as it is in the UK and in other EU states, it is actually falling. Between 1992 and 2008 the average age of retirement in Denmark has fallen by 2 years to 63.

In 1992 the number of Danes retiring before reaching their state pension age (of 65) was 30 per cent but by 2008 this had risen to 50 per cent.

During this period average life expectancy for a 60 year old in Denmark has risen by two years – so they can expect to have an additional four years in retirement.  

The Danish Insurance Association (DIA) says that the decline in retirement age is mainly driven by Danish women retiring earlier following various changes to tax-funded retirement schemes, such as a transitional allowance and early retirement.

The Chief Executive of the DIA, Per Bremer Rasmussen, suggested that politicians in Denmark had not made the most of opportunities to make it more attractive to work longer, despite there being good job opportunities for people over 60 and a booming economy over the past 15 years.

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