Future retirement ages

Across countries, the average normal retirement age for a man with a full career from age 22 is 66.3 years (hence around 2066) based on current legislation for men entering the labour market in 2022 against 64.4 for those retiring in 2022 (Figure 3.8). Meanwhile, the remaining life expectancy of men at age 65 is projected to increase on average from 18.0 to 22.9 years (see Chapter 6). So, the average legislated increase in men’s normal retirement ages accounts for about 40% of the average projected increase in old-age life expectancy.

The normal retirement age of men will increase in 20 out of 38 OECD countries. The highest increase is projected for Türkiye, from 52 currently to 65 years for men and from 49 to 63 for women. Assuming that legislated life-expectancy links are applied, the retirement age will increase substantially also in Denmark, from 67 to 74 years, and Estonia, from 64.3 to 71 years. This is also true for Italy where the retirement age will increase from 64 in 2022 (as mentioned earlier, the retirement age in 2022 is temporarily lowered from 67 years) to 71 years for the modelled cohort. Likewise in Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Sweden future pension ages are also being linked to increases in life expectancy with increases of between 2.5 and 6 years expected over the next 50 years. The lowest future retirement age for men equals 62 in Colombia, Luxembourg and Slovenia.

Among the nine OECD countries with gender differences in the normal retirement age in 2022, gender gaps will have been phased out everywhere in the OECD for the generation entering the labour market in 2022, except in Colombia, Costa Rica, Hungary, Israel, Poland and Türkiye (Figure 3.7). In Türkiye, it will be phased out for those entering in 2028.

Table 3.6 shows the rules for early, normal and late retirement by pension scheme for a person entering the labour force at age 22 in 2022.

Ignoring schemes with careers starting at a very early age, the early retirement age averages 62.2 years across the OECD, just over two years below the normal retirement age of 64.4 years (Figure 3.9). It will increase to 64.0 years, widening the gap with the average the normal retirement age of 66.4 years. Over half of OECD countries will not see any change in the early retirement age for those entering the labour market in 2022 compared to those retiring in 2022.

Figure 3.9 also shows the earlier retirement ages that are possible for those that have a full career from an early age. These long-career schemes are not a common practice but still exist in seven countries, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovenia. It is possible to retire at age 57 in Luxembourg and at age 58 in France and Slovenia though in France contributions would have had to start before age 15. In Italy one can retire at age 59 with 41 years of contributions, whilst in Portugal it is possible at age 60 with contributions having started at age 14. For Denmark retirement is possible at age 64 if at least 44 years of labour market attachment has been achieved before age 61.

DB, FDC and points schemes usually compensate the shorter expected retirement spell by bonuses which tend to be higher than the penalties for early retirement, with a maximum rate of about 12% per year in case of a 10-year deferral in the basic/targeted scheme of Denmark and in some exceptional cases for a one-year deferral in the Portuguese DB scheme. Belgium, Colombia, France in the mandatory occupational scheme, Greece and Luxembourg, deviate by not paying an additional deferral bonus in DB or points schemes. Many basic, minimum and targeted schemes do not pay a bonus either. Late retirement ages, maximum accrual rates and maximum pensions stop the accrual of pension rights in some countries (see note of Table 3.4).

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