Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Europe: Worker Survey Shows Support for Early Retirement, Oppostion to Raised Retirement Ages

Aon Consulting has released survey results showing that 29% of European workers would prefer their government not to raise the national retirement age, and would be happy to have less income in retirement. AS part of Aon Consulting's European Employee Benefits Benchmark, 7,279 workers were surveyed in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

According to the Benchmark, 46% of Irish workers--the most of any European nation surveyed--report they never really expected to retire at 65 and expected to be working longer than their parents. This is closely followed by the British and Danish (44%) and the Dutch (41%). On the other hand, workers in other countries, including Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium, showed a much lower tolerance towards working longer, with the Spanish being the most reluctant to retire later: just 18% say they have accepted this position.

The German workers are the most pragmatic, with 49% saying they will take advantage of financial products on the open market, such as annuities, at their own expense in order to be able to retire at the age they had originally planned.

Oliver Rowlands, head of retirement, EMEA, at Aon Consulting commented:
European employers should be aware that older workers bring a wealth of experience and may want to adopt a strategy for accommodating part-time working or job-sharing, for example.

But employers need to do more than this if they are going to grapple with an ageing workforce. Health and wellness initiatives such as employee assistance lines (a service for employees offering free counseling and professional advisory services), flexible benefits, occupational health initiatives and flexible working days, are all ways of helping to ensure the health and welfare of an ageing staff.
Source: AON Consulting News Release (April 26, 2010)

Monday, April 12, 2010

France: OECD Data Suggests Keeping Older Workers Working Key To Protecting Pension Systems

An Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) look at pensions in France and abroad suggests that making it possible for older workers to keep on working is key to making pension systems more affordable. According to OECD numbers, in the 1950's, in OECD countries, there were around 7 workers on average for every retiree, but that, by 2010, this ratio had fallen to 4 to 1, and that, by 2040, this will be only 2.2 to 1.

Comparing France to other states, OECD says that In Sweden and Switzerland 7 out of 10 people aged over 50 work, while in France the figure is one in two. In addition, the the OECD average for years spent in retirement is just over 18 for men and just under 23 for women, but the French people have the longest retirement--28 years for women and 24 for men.

Source: OECD "Pensions in France and abroad: 7 key indicators" (April 10, 2010)