Retire at 72 in Spain? This is the legal retirement age in Europe and the world


There are few economic issues that can compare in importance to the public pension system due to its scale and the potential number of people affected by any change. Hinting at the need to reform it to ensure its survival, at the beginning of July Círculo de Empresarios put on the table a proposal for the next government: the creation of a system of incentives and penalties The legal retirement age in Spain is between 68 and 72 years old. When comparing the retirement age in Europe and in some major countries of the world, even before the new default reform that would set the age back, Spain is already among the countries with a later legal retirement age.

Specifically, right now The statutory retirement age, at which 100% of the pension is collected In Spain 66 years and 4 months. Although, in the case of the worker’s contribution for more than 37 years and 9 months, the age is 65 years. By 2027, the statutory retirement age will be 67 and the contribution requirement to retire at 65 with a 100% pension will be 38 years and six months. Currently, the majority of EU countries have 65 either as an already-set retirement age or as a target, leaving Spain and its ambition to push it back to 67 in a group consisting only of Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy. After this era, only the Netherlands and Denmark have subsequent targets in mind within the EU.

Compared to neighboring countries, the Spanish retirement age is also still higher. The gap is smaller when looking at Portugal and narrower when facing France. The Portuguese intend, for the time being at least, to keep the retirement age at 66 years and four months. The French aim to postpone it to 64 years from 62 years and three months now, a measure approved by the government of Emmanuel Macron at the dawn of April 15 and led to Strong response in the form of protests.

Retirement in different European countriesBelen Trincado Aznar

as described in Data collected by the Finnish Pensions CenterIn many of the analyzed countries, it was noted that the retirement age for women is older than that of men, but with the postponement of legal ages, there is a tendency to equate them.

In addition to raising the retirement age by decision of the rulers, many countries have already set the same for the evolution of life expectancy. By doing so, you tend to delay retirement. Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Estonia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Cyprus or Sweden are some of them.

In terms of incentive and penalty systems such as that proposed by Círculo de Empresarios, many countries are already implementing them. Sweden, Norway, the United States, Australia and Canada are some examples of this according to the Finnish Centre. In the case of the United States, a worker who wishes to collect 100% of the pension he is entitled to must remain active until he is 66 years and 4 months old, an age that will increase to 67.

In the case of Spain, there is already a system of incentives and penalties that allow requesting retirement in a certain age group. If enough contributions have been made to qualify for retirement at age 65, early retirement can be requested as soon as age 63 in exchange for a reduction in the lifetime pension, the reduction depending on the time the contribution was made and the duration of the withdrawal request in advance compared to the corresponding legal age. This article explains in detail all about the penalties for early retirement, as well as the rewards for voluntary deferral of it..

Of all the countries analyzed, Russia is the one with the oldest retirements, although it also identified a gradual delay in it. In 2023, the legal retirement age for Russian women is 56 years and 6 months, while for men it is 61 years and 6 months. Moscow’s goal in this area is to delay the retirement of women to 60 and for men to 65.

How generous are Qatari pensions relatively?

As we explained earlier, although the tendency to raise it is the same everywhere, the retirement age varies, and quite a bit, according to each country. The latter also occurs with the level of generosity of public pensions. One metric that allows for international comparisons is the replacement rate. This is the name given to the percentage of what is received as a retirement pension compared to what was received when the person was still active. For example. A pensioner who at work had a net salary of €2,000 per month and who now has a pension of €1,000 will receive a replacement rate of 50%.

Thus, the higher the ratio, the greater the relative “generosity” of pensions. Two countries with population pyramids that are not very ancient, Turkey and Brazil, top the ranking made by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. In the Turkish case, retirement really pays off, since the amount of the pension is higher than the salary that was received during the activity.

The two countries with the most recent withdrawals from the EU, the Netherlands (89th) and Denmark (84th), rank at the top of the ranking. In the case of Spain, the substitution rate is around 80%, 12 percentage points higher than the EU average (68) and 18 percentage points higher than the OECD average (62). It is also remarkable that in countries where there is a longer tradition of private pensions, such as the United Kingdom (58th) or the United States (51st), the replacement rate is much lower. Along with countries with less generous regimes, Estonia (34th), Lithuania (31st) and South Africa (16th) close the table.

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