Keeping Luxembourg's seniors on the work treadmill
Luxembourg's early average retirement rate may make it the envy of Europe's senior citizens, but something must change if the country is to plug its growing pension gap.
With baby boomers increasingly approaching retirement age, the number of pensioners is expected to place a substantial strain on the national coffers of EU member nations. In Luxembourg, where there is a strong early retirement culture, the situation is further exacerbated, according to a study by analysts CEPS/INSTEAD.
Luxembourg's early retirement rate has vastly improved in recent years but it is still ranked 23rd among European countries for the low proportion of senior 55 to 64-year-olds still in work.
And with just over a third (39.6 percent) of this age group in work, it is some way off achieving the Lisbonne strategy goal of 50 percent by 2010.
The report suggests that this trend is largely down to the high proportion of women taking early retirement. Women, the report says, experience several career interruptions in order to start families. These career breaks are more likely to result in a woman leaving the work market earlier, the report suggests. Just under a third (31.3 percent) of women aged 55 to 64 are still in work, compared with nearly half (47.7 percent) of men of the same age.
Seniors who are poorly qualified are also more likely to retire earlier, with for just 34.6 percent of this group in the workforce.
Among the solutions mooted to keep seniors working longer, the report calls for better measures to reintegrate women into the workforce after an interruption, as well as access to training and the promotional of female entrepreneurs.
The report, however, underlines the importance of creating jobs which are appropriate for the older working population.
“The stakes are no longer in keeping people in their existing jobs but in adapting them to other jobs. The challenge we face is that of education and lifelong learning, finding jobs which are adapted to senior citizens and the professional retraining of older people.”