Despite the shortage of skilled workers and many early retirees, Federal Minister of Labor Heil does not believe in raising the retirement age – and refers to other countries. But how high or low is the retirement age in Europe really?

“Increasing the retirement age further to 69, 70 or 75 is wrong and unfair, because that would mean a real pension cut for many people who simply cannot work that long,” said Hubertus Heil of the “Rheinische Post” on Thursday. And anyway: The statutory retirement age of 67 years from 2031 is already very high in an international comparison.

In fact, the retirement age in Germany is at the upper end, but not higher than in most European countries. Spain, for example, will even have retirement age at 67 in 2027. In Ireland it means working from 2028 until 68. Heil’s statement is therefore at least daring and suggests that there is absolutely no more leeway here.

Even countries with pension systems that were chronically generous in the past have recently completed a significant about-face. While Germany is still on the way to retirement at 67, this is already a reality in Italy and Greece, for example.

However, there are always exceptions to be considered. Anyone who has paid in for 45 years in Germany can generally enjoy their well-deserved retirement without any deductions. In Italy this limit is 42 years and 10 months for men (women one year less), in Greece it is 40 years and in Spain it is 37 years.

Belgium

In Belgium, the statutory retirement age is at

However, anyone can claim early old-age pension under certain age and employment conditions. Since January 1, 2019, this is possible at the age of at least 63 years and a professional career of 42 years.

There are exceptions for long employment, namely 60 years for a 44-year career and 61 years for a 43-year career.

Bulgaria

Since January 1, 2018, Bulgaria has gradually increased the required retirement age to 65 for both men and women, and the insurance period to 40 for men and 37 for women. If you cannot prove that you have sufficient insurance time, this right is only granted once you have reached the age of 66 years and 10 months and have had at least 15 years of insurance time. This age is gradually increased every year.

Germany

Due to the demographic development, Germany has increased the standard retirement age. For everyone born between January 1, 1947 and December 31, 1958, the previous standard retirement age of 65 years is shifted by one month for each subsequent year, and for those born between 1959 and 1963 by two months per year. For those born after January 1, 1964, the standard retirement age of 67 years applies.

Denmark

The retirement age for old-age pension (Folkepension) in Denmark will be gradually increased to 69 by 2035. On January 1, 2021, the retirement age was 66.5 years. The retirement age is linked to the development of life expectancy at the age of 60. It is adjusted every 5 years. The age limit for supplementary pension (ATP) and compulsory pension scheme (Obligatorisk Pensionsordning) is 66.5 years.

Finland

Since January 2017, the retirement age has been raised by 3 months every year to 65 in 2027. After that, the retirement age is linked to life expectancy.

The retirement age is:

The retirement age of people born in 1965 or later is adjusted to life expectancy, which is determined at age 62.

You are entitled to a seniority pension at age 63, regardless of year of birth, after 38 years of arduous work. For this, the work must have required significant mental and physical effort.

France

The legal age to apply for processing an old-age pension is set at 62 for anyone born after 1955. In order to receive the full pension from this age, however, a certain number of insurance periods must be proven. You receive the full pension from the age of 67, regardless of the insured years.

Greece

There is an entitlement to a full pension if you have been insured for 40 years (12,000 insurance days) from the age of 62 or if you have been insured for 15 years (4500 insurance days) from the age of 67.

For women: 12,000 insurance days, of which 10,000 days have been accumulated from 01/01/2013 and the age of 62; the age will be gradually raised to 67 by 2022.

For men: 10,000 insurance days at the age of 67.

For mothers and widowed fathers of minor children: 5500 insurance days at the age of 67.

Lower requirements apply to mothers of underage children and insured persons who pursue a strenuous and unhealthy activity.

Italy

For the statutory old-age pension, from January 1, 2019, in addition to a contribution period of at least 20 years, you must have reached the retirement age of 67.

Netherlands

The statutory retirement age will be 66 years and 7 months in 2022, 66 years and 10 months in 2023 and 67 years in 2024 and 2025. From 2026, the statutory retirement age will only be raised if life expectancy continues to rise.

Norway

There is a flexible retirement age between 62 and 75 years. Special provisions apply to drawing an old-age pension before the age of 67, including an insurance period of at least 40 years.

Austria

Retirement pension (retirement pension) is an ongoing cash payment to financially secure life in old age, i.e. after the regular end of working life. In Austria, this is currently the age of 60 for women and 65 for men.

Portugal

Old-age pension is paid to insured persons who have reached the normal retirement age on the date of application: 66 years and 7 months in 2022. After 2014, the retirement age varies depending on the development of average life expectancy with 65 years.

Switzerland

The retirement age for men is 65 years, for women one year less.

Sweden

There is no fixed retirement age in Sweden. This can be chosen flexibly. Everyone has the right to work until the age of 68. If employees and employers so wish, also beyond that. You can apply for an old-age pension at the age of 62 at the earliest.

Spain

The minimum age to claim old-age pension in Spain is 66 years and 2 months. Anyone who can currently demonstrate more than 37.5 years of contributions can retire at the age of 65. From 2027, you can retire at 67.

At the weekend, Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for an increase in the proportion of those who can really work until retirement age. There is also “potential for increase” in the proportion of women in the labor market. But all-day offers in crèches, day-care centers and schools would have to be expanded.

According to calculations by the Federal Institute for Population Research, more and more people in Germany are retiring early. At the same time, the economy is suffering from a labor shortage.

The CDU party leader Friedrich Merz once again supported Scholz’s demand to ensure fewer early retirements. In the RTL program “Nachtjournal Spezial” he said that from 2025 the baby boomers would retire. “We need a solution at this point at the latest.” However, the CDU leader did not want to speak out for a pension at the age of 70.

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