Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Germany: Chancellor Merkel Addresses Demographics of Aging, including Workforce

Chancellor Angela Merkel convened and addressed a demographic conference on how Germany needs to respond to its aging population. Among other things, she reenforce the need to to raise the retirement age to 67 "by saying that demographic changes in Germany called for it and added that having more experienced employees would increase companies' productivity," according to a press report.

According to Merkel, "Deshalb bin ich zutiefst davon überzeugt, dass wir Ältere im Erwerbsleben auch wegen ihrer großen Erfahrung wirklich brauchen." She also argues for more flexibility to work into old age and transition into retirement: "Mehr Flexibilität beim Arbeiten im Alter und beim Übergang in den Ruhestand – das ist eine ganz wichtige Sache, die viele auch wollen."

Working is just part of her demographic strategy, which addresses six main points: support for families, putting in place the right conditions for a longer working life, finding ways for older people to choose the way they work, cooperation among federal, state and municipal institutions, securing wealth and growth and limiting state debt. The Cabinet is set to approve this plan.

On the Chancellor's website, there is a copy of her speech to the conference, as well as video of her remarks.

Source: Deutsche Welle "Aging society keeps Germans working" (April 25, 2012)

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