Pension systems

Ageing and Employment Policies - Statistics on average effective age of retirement


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Statistics on average effective age and official age of retirement in OECD countries

One indicator of retirement behaviour that abstracts from more general factors
affecting the level of participation rates is the average effective age at which older workers withdraw from the labour force – for the sake of brevity, this will be referred to as the effective age of retirement. In most countries, the effective age of retirement is well below the official age for receiving a full old-age pension. Japan and Korea are notable exceptions where the effective age of retirement is close to 70 for men despite an official retirement age of 60. In other countries, men on average are still in the workforce at age 65 in Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland, but have left work by their 60th birthday in Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, Luxembourg and the Slovak Republic. Women, in general, retire around one to two years earlier than men.

In almost all OECD countries, the effective retirement age has declined substantially since 1970. But the trend decline has been interrupted recently. Over the past decade, most countries have either experienced a flattening out of the trend or a small upturn. But apart from Japan and Korea, the effective retirement age remains well below the levels of the 1960s and 1970s. These changes over time in the effective retirement age have mostly occurred in parallel fashion for both men and women, despite the trend increase in female participation rates.


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