Pension systems

Pensions in France and abroad: 7 key indicators


Populations across the OECD are ageing. In the 1950s there were around 7 workers on average for every retiree in OECD countries. By 2010 this ratio had fallen to 4 to 1. And by 2040 will be only 2.2 to 1.

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Persons of working age (20-64 yrs) per person of retirement age (65yrs+)


The cost of public pension systems keeps rising…. In 2007 public spending on pensions accounted for 10% of GDP in the European Union. By 2060, that figure will rise to 12.5%.

Public old-age cash benefits 2007 and 2060, as a percentage of GDP



The average legal age of retirement is between 63 and 64 in the OECD but the actual average age at which people stop working varies widely. In France, for example, most people stop working before they are 60.

Legal retirement age and effective age of exit for the active population, 2002-2007



Making it possible for older workers to keep on working is key to making pension systems more affordable. In Sweden and Switzerland 7 out of 10 people aged over 50 work. In France the figure is one in two.

Percentage of elderly (50-64) in employment, 2008 and 1998


The amount of time people spend in retirement varies widely between countries: the OECD average is just over 18 for men and just under 23 for women. French people have the longest retirement: 28 years for women and 24 for men.

Estimated years in retirement, by sex, 2007

MB5 - Années estimées à la retraite, par genre, en 2007


When those starting work now retire, the pension benefits they will receive compared to when they were working will vary widely: low-earners on average will get around 70% of their earnings. In Germany and Japan they will get less than half of their previous earnings. Average earners will get around 60% of their previous salaries in most OECD countries. In the UK, they will get only 30%.

Gross replacement rates as a percentage of individual salary



In most OECD countries, public pensions make up around 60% of people’s retirement income. 


Percentage of public transfers in the income of persons aged 65 years and over