Older Swiss reject increasing the retirement age: Study

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Older Swiss reject increasing the retirement age: Study

Women, as well as residents of the French-speaking parts of Switzerland are the most hostile to changing the retirement age.


Swiss between the ages of 50 and 70 have rejected any changes to the proposed retirement age, a new study has revealed. 

The survey, conducted in mid-2019 among 1000 people from the ages of 50 to 70, sought to harvest opinions on upcoming proposals to change the retirement age. 

Gender differences

While the respondents on the whole were opposed to the changes, the most significant opposition came from women. When asked if the retirement age should be raised to 65 for both genders, 32 percent of women agreed - while 60 percent of men approved of the proposal. 

The current retirement age for women in Switzerland is 64, while men can retire from the age of 65. 

Raising the retirement age to 66 for both genders attracted 25 percent of support from women and 40 percent of support from men. 

When asked about raising the retirement age to 67 - which is gradually being phased in in neighbouring Germany - 14 percent of women and 30 percent of men agreed. 

With life expectancy increasing across many parts of Switzerland and Europe more broadly, governments are looking to extend retirement ages due to fears of healthcare and associated costs for people in their retirement age. 

Reto Savoia of Deloitte Switzerland, who produced the results, said a major reason could be the amount of additional work that women are required to do when compared to men. 

"Women are much more opposed to all variants of the increase in retirement age, especially those that directly affect them,” said Savoia.  

“This could be explained by the fact that, besides work, they continue to take more care of domestic and family tasks than men and that some of them feel at a disadvantage in the world of work “.

Two different Switzerlands? 

Other than gender differences, there was a wide divergence of opinion from respondents in the French and the German-speaking parts of the country. 

On the first question of whether retirement age should set at 65 for both genders, only 24 percent of French-speaking respondents approved - while 55 percent of German-speaking Swiss supported such a change. 

There were also differences in the policies sought by respondents in different Swiss linguistic areas. German-speaking Swiss were most concerned about the reliability of the old-age pension, while those in French-speaking areas wanted more benefits from the state. 

The poll was completed by Deloitte Switzerland in June 2019 with poll respondents coming from across Switzerland. 




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