Saturday, June 07, 2014

Sweden: Looking at Retirement Age and Proposals to Strengthening Labor Participation by Older Workers

SeniorPolittik.no is running a series of articles on Sweden and retirement. According to the lead story, even though, under Swedish law, an individual has no right to remain in employment after age 67, and Swedes have the right to withdraw retirement pension as early as age 61, among both employers and employees it is a deeply rooted belief that the earlier retirement age of 65, the normal retirement age.

Swedes work longer than workers in many other countries, such as Denmark and Finland. However, labor force participation among Swedes aged 65 and older is generally not as high as in for example Norway. Labour force participation among older Swedish women, however, higher than in Norway. Nevertheless, politicians are worried and stressing among other things, that Norway has been more successful in changing attitudes away from a fixed retirement age.

Drawing on a report prepared for the Swedish parliament earlier in 2014, it is apparent that negative attitudes towards older workers is common. The report notes that Norway's creation of a center for senior policy is a cause of the attitudes in Norway being less negative, and it concluded that it is not enough just to raise the retirement age to change the perception of older workers. Information and knowledge are also needed.

While the Swedish report notes that "everyone can not work indefinitely, but many are able to work with and much longer than is the case now," there are proposals to raise the statutory right to continue in employment to 69. In addition, a year ago, proposals were submitted o the government to raise the age for the earliest opportunity to receive a pension from the government gradually from 61 years, on the grounds that life expectancy is projected to increase.

Sources: SeniorPolittik.no, Retirement Age in Sweden: "Mener Norge har lyktes bedre" [Believe Norway has succeeded better], "Fant sin egen vei videre" [Found their own way forward], "Bør være en menneskerett å få arbeide" [Should be a human right to work] (June 2014);

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