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Increasing the Pensionable Age: What Changes Are OECD Countries Making? What Considerations Are Driving Policy?

DOI: 10.4236/jss.2017.57005, PP. 56-70

Keywords: Retirement, Retirement Age, International Comparison, Policy, Early Retirement

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The average age of retirement used to be low in most countries due to numerous policies introduced 30 to 40 years ago which encouraged lower retirement ages. However, in response to the growth of the older segment of the population, increased life expectancy, the need for skilled workers, and the precarious financial state of public pension systems, pension reforms have been implemented in the U.S. and Europe, and are now geared towards improving employment rates for older workers, increasing retirement ages and pension eligibility. This paper surveys recent changes in retirement age and maps the changes that have occurred in the last decades using data from 34 OECD (The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. This paper then reviews the arguments for and against these changes, the criteria for setting a certain retirement age, and the differences in statutory retirement age by gender, occupation, employment status, and other factors unique to particular countries. The purpose of this paper is to analyze current trends in terms of raising the pensionable age.


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