The proportion of working people paying to support pensions for retired people is projected to shrink dramatically in the future.
That means countries cannot go on funding pensions in the same way they have until now.
Many countries have decided to adapt by lengthening their citizens’ working lives, insisting they must wait longer before they are eligible to retire.
European statistics show that the average age bracket at which people in Europe clock off at the end of their working lives is 62-65 for men, and 60-65 for women.
Here are some examples of changes in the works: France’s centre right government is pushing to get people to pay into the fund for more years and to start taking out of it later. Spain’s centre left government are also aiming to make age 67 the general rule. It is 65 in Germany now, going to 67 in 2012.
Here is the number of years during which people have been paying to become eligible for their pensions, and how that is going to increase: as it stands today, it is 40.5 years in France, rising to 41.5 in 2023; it is 35 years in Germany, rising to 45 in 2029; and it is 30 years in Britain, rising to 44 years in 2046. So, in some cases, future retirees will be expected to stay on working for more than a decade longer than their forebears.
Part of the challenge is to move employees around within companies, matching them to positions more suitable for their physical condition. This principle includes making it possible for them to pass on their years worth of experience to younger workers.