Finland plans to hike retirement age from 63 to 65



HELSINKI, February 24, 2009 (AFP) - Finland's government said Tuesday it would propose a new law that would gradually increase the country's retirement age from 63 to 65 starting in 2011.
"We will gradually lift the Finnish retirement age from 63 so that in about 10 years the retirement age will be two years higher," Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen told reporters.



Finland is one of the fastest aging nations in the world and according to government statistics the Nordic country's labour force is expected to start declining by 2010.
While the official retirement age is currently 63, the average retirement age in Finland was in fact 59 last year since it is common to opt for early retirement, according to the Finnish Centre for Pensions.
Worried that the working-age population will be forced to shoulder too heavy a financial burden as the number of retirees balloons, Vanhanen said it would be necessary to get Finns to enter the labour market earlier and to keep working for longer.
But the government is in no hurry to push through the law proposal since the Nordic country like much of the rest of the world has been hit by the global economic downturn and is struggling with growing unemployment.
Many companies are encouraging employees to take early retirement in an attempt to limit the number of forced layoffs.
Hiking the retirement age "has to be done at a time when the employment situation is getting better," Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said.
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Thursday, February 26th 2009
AFP
           


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