News reports indicate that Portuguese state pensions are to be indexed to the country's economic performance and average life expectancy under new pension and welfare reforms announced Tuesday. While the official retirement age is to stay at 65, any increases in the country's average life expectancy will trigger a reduction in the amount paid out so the entitlement can be spread over a longer period. In addition, anyone taking early retirement will have their pension cut by up to 6%.
According to the Associated Press report on the changes, "workers can choose to offset possible reductions by increasing the amount they pay into the social security system while still in employment or by working beyond 65." In addition, business confederations representing industry, agriculture, services and tourism that had initially balked at employing older workers agreed to the changes as the government warned that the alternative was higher corporate taxes.
Source: Business Week Online "Portugal pension system to be reformed" (October 10, 2006)