Posts Tagged ‘Mandatory retirement’

A retirement age of 78 will be needed in Norway for children born today

January 23, 2013

Increasing lifespans are real and the period during which we can be productive is increasing and what follows is inevitable. At the present rate of longevity increasing by about 3 months every year, by 2500 most people will live to be 200. Considering that world population is likely to be falling slowly after 2100 it seems not unconnected that any consequent decrease in human economic activity will be (will have to be) compensated for by people having a longer productive life.

A year ago a trial balloon was sent up by the Swedish Prime Minister when he imagined a retirement age of 70 rather than the current 65. Now a suggestion that retirement age will have to be increased to 78 has been floated in Norway. The necessary debate is starting but the result is not in doubt – only the timing is.

But before not too long the  human condition of “study for 20 work for 40 and live to 80”  which probably applies to me will change to “study for 25, work for 50 and live to 100” and will apply to my children. And probably within another 200 years it would have become “study for 40, work for 80 and live to 160”.

Svenska Dagbladet:

Work until you’re 78. It could become necessary for Norwegians born today if the financial burden on the productive section of the population is not to become too large. The calculation and the challenge is from the Norwegian business newspaper Dagens Industry and has created a heated debate in Norway.

Life expectancy is on the rise in both Sweden and Norway. It will force today’s young people to work longer than today. But to retire at 78 years of age is not what many are convinced about.  Sweden had a similar debate when Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt spoke of 75 years as an appropriate retirement age.

In Norway, the suggestion is that 78 years is the appropriate age but Professor Hilde Björnland has doubts: “ The calculation is interesting because it shows the increased pension obligations we face. It is not enough to work up to age 67 if we are to cope with the coming demographic challenges”. But, she says, there is a difference between a long life and increasing mental and physical health. It is uncertain whether we can work much longer than 65-70 years even though we live longer. It depends on how the jobs look like in the future, it depends on how the tasks are suited to us as we get older. Today, only 2.3 percent of the Norwegian population work between 67 and 74 years. After 74 years, it is so small that it is not measurable by the Norwegian Central Statistical Office.

Those who want to raise the retirement age to 78 years at Den Norske Bank believe in any case that today’s young people must be prepared to work much longer than their parents’ generation did. But to get people to work more years in a country that has huge oil revenues and would like to convert income to more leisure time will not be easy. … 


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