How Do Retirement Ages Compare in Europe Versus the US?

Retirement age varies from country to country, with the average affected by things like differing labor markets, types of jobs, economic policies, gender norms and pension systems. Saudi Arabia, for example, is the only country that offers full retirement benefits for those under 50. Conversely, in 2023, France raised the retirement age by 2 years, which triggered massive strikes.

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Retirement data is gathered and analyzed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which has its own measurements:

  • The Current Retirement Age refers to the age at which people can retire after a full career beginning at age 22, with no penalty to their pension. The age at which people begin their careers varies, which is yet another reason for the worldwide differences.
  • The Effective Retirement Age is the average age at which workers aged 40 or more exit the labor force. People may retire early for personal reasons or simply because there is no more work available.

Based on 2020 data, when it comes to the United States, the Current Retirement Age is 66, and the Effective Retirement Age is 65.

Comparatively, listed below is the retirement data for several European countries, listing Current Retirement Age First, Effective Retirement Age second, and, where applicable, a third figure representing the Effective Retirement Age solely for women (which can vary), followed by US numbers.

Austria: 65, 62, 61

Belgium: 65, 61, 60

Czech Republic: 64, 63, 62

Denmark: 66, 64, N/A

Estonia: 64, 64, 65

Finland: 65, 63, 64

France: 65, 60, 61

Germany: 66, 63, N/A

Greece: 62, 61, 58

Hungary: 65, 62, 60

Iceland: 67, 66, 64

Ireland: 66, 64, N/A

Italy: 62, 62, 61

Latvia: 64, 66, 65

Lithuania: 64, 63, N/A

Luxembourg: 62, 59, 60

Netherlands: 66, 64, 63

Norway: 67, 65, 63

Poland: 65, 62, 60

Portugal: 65, 65, 63

Slovakia: 63, 60, N/A

Slovenia: 62, 62, 61

Spain: 65, 61, 60

Sweden: 65, 66, 65

Switzerland: 65, 65, 64

United Kingdom: 66, 64, 63

United States: 66, 65, N/A

Of the European countries, Iceland and Norway have the highest Current Retirement Age of 67. Generally, women retire earlier than men due to cultural gender norms, labor force participation rates or pension systems. That being said, women retired later than men in Estonia, Finland, France and Luxembourg.

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Overall, the OECD predicts that by the mid-2060s, the average effective retirement age will increase by two years.

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This article originally appeared on How Do Retirement Ages Compare in Europe Versus the US?

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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