What bothers me is while France, Spain and other EU countries quite rightly place quality of life high on their agenda and allow a much earlier retirement age, are tax payers in the UK who have to work much longer subsidising this? The UK is one of the highest net contibutors to the EU, if not the highest. Even though France and Spain are talking about making their retirement age higher have they actually done so yet and even then will it be as high as the UK? I don’t care what age they set it at as long as the UK are not somehow working longer to subsidise an earlier retirement for other countries.
Germany is the largest contributor to the EU budget,(21.13%) followed by France (16.44%) and Italy.(13.64%) The UK is fourth at around 13% of overall expenditure. In contrast Spain contributes only 8.51% and is fifth. The current increase in retirement age in the EU has nothing to do with these budget contributions.
Later retirement within the EU is all about population demographics. The working population of any country support the retired and the ratio keeps on increasing because of the baby boomers born at the end of WW11, now retiring and the longer life prospects for us all.
In the UK at the moment 40% of working people support the remaining 60%. That’s a ratio which cannot continue. Hence the need to have the population working longer to reduce said ratio. The current plans of EU states to change the retirement age are mild in comparison to the real need.
They are increasing the age slowly to make it politically acceptable. I estimate in a few short years 70 will be the age when most people retire, at least on a state pension.
In France the Unions strike whenever a government initiative for political and social change is even suggested. It’s just part of the fabric of French life. Almost always governments cave in and compromise.
Meanwhile the remainder of the EU deal with the real world and force through much needed changes. How long France can remain out of the loop is any one’s guess. Had the French government voted through the kind of required reform Spain has just passed the country would be at a stand still for good. 🙂