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Retirement age trends around the globe: UK sees a higher rise than USA

retirement -age-trends

The retirement age trends is upwards across the globe and that’s to be expected with universal ageing of the population. How does the UK fair in the international comparison? A new study by reveals that the UK has seen the twenty-second highest increase in its retirement age over the last 25 years. 

The study analyzed OECD data regarding retirement age in all countries available from 2000 to 2020, to discover which citizens have seen the highest increase.

Eastern Europe sees biggest hikes in retirement age trends

Bulgaria takes the top spot with a 13.26% increase in the country’s average retirement age between 2000 and 2020. This results from the average retirement age among men and women in 2000 being 56 years old; in 2020, it went up to 63.

Second is Estonia, with an increase of 11.93%, while its neighbor, Latvia, ranks third with a 10.57% increase. Respectively, these countries had a retirement age of 58 and 59 in 2000 and 65 in 2020.

Further down on the list is New Zealand, the only non-European country in the top 10. The nation comes in fourth place with a 9.84% retirement age increase as well as highest retirement age on the list. Records show that the retirement age increased from 61 to a whopping 67 years old in 2020.

Hungary closes the top five with an 8.56% increase.

Two more eastern European countries follow closely: Romania is sixth with an 8.42% increase, and Slovenia is seventh with an increase of 8.35%.

Portugal, The Netherlands, and Lithuania round up the top 10.

Top 10 countries with the highest increase in retirement age
Rank Country Retirement age in 2000 Retirement age in 2020 Change in retirement age in between 2000-2020
1 Bulgaria 56 63 13.26%
2 Estonia 58 65 11.93%
3 Latvia 59 65 10.57%
4 New Zealand 61 67 9.84%
5 Hungary 56 60 8.56%
6 Romania 60 65 8.42%
7 Slovenia 56 61 8.35%
8 Portugal 59 64 7.92%
9 The Netherlands 59 63 7.65%
10 Lithuania 59 63 7.57%

Life expectancy a main factor behind the increasing retirement age trends

A spokesperson for commented on the findings: “The trend of retirement age increasing across many nations reflects a complex interplay of various factors.

Some of these include the extension of people’s life expectancy, which has increased thanks to medical advancements, economic pressures that translate into people not being able to retire comfortably because of the rising cost of living, and shifting demographics, such as declining birthrates and aging populations.

“It is interesting to see how the data shows European countries among those with a steadily increasing retirement age, with a particular focus on eastern European countries, as shown in the top 10. The first Western European country is Portugal, followed by The Netherlands in eighth place, and we have to look even further down, in 15th place, to find another Western country, Italy.”