July 17, 2023

Canadians are in middle of the pack when it comes to retirement age: Lovemoney

In a slideshow created for the Lovemoney blog, writer Charlotte Irwin finds that Canadians retire quite a bit later in life than folks in many other countries.

The average Canadian hits the silk at age 64.75, and departs from work.

But, reports Irwin, who did an analysis of all the OECD countries, many other folks around the world log out for the last time long before that age.

In South Africa, there’s no official retirement age, reports Irwin, but on average people are retired by age 60.

In France, where plans to age the official retirement age to 64 have been met with riots and protests, the average person retires at age 60.8. The official retirement age — for now — is 62, the article reports.

The Greeks, reports Irwin, are next, retiring on average at age 60.85. That number is trending upward as the official retirement age was raised to 67 in 2017, the article notes.

Belgians retire at 61.1, even though the official retirement age is 65.

“Most people actually retire several years before through early retirement schemes, and the average effective age for men is 61.6 years old, while women tend to leave work just at 60.5. The country’s historically generous state pension scheme was shaken up in 2011, when the early retirement age was increased to 62 and workers were forced to contribute for 40 years. The official pension age will rise to 66 from 2025 and 67 from 2030, measures which have proved highly unpopular, with strikes and protests across the country,” explains Irwin.

Poles begin their golden years at 61.35, and Spaniards at 61.7. In both countries, the official retirement age is gradually being shifted to age 67.

In the USA, the official retirement age is 62. Those born after 1960, the article reports, can start receiving government retirement benefits at age 67.

In Austria, women can get their government benefits at age 60, and men (currently) at 65, making the country have “an average effective retirement date of 62.15.” There are plans to raise the age for women to receive their benefits to 65.

Italians retire, on average, at age 62.4. There have been plans to raise the retirement age there to 67, but opposition has been strong and swift, and no changes have yet been agreed to.

Germans go, on average, at age 63.5.

In Denmark, it is 63.8. The Dutch leave just a little later, aged 63.85, as do the Finns.

Our UK cousins are on the job, on average, until 64.15 years of age. Then comes Canada, where plans to move the Old Age Security start date to 67 were started but then reversed.

So who retires at a later age than Canadians?

Australians (64.8), the Irish (64.85), Norwegians (65.1), Latvians (65.2), the Turks (65.6), the Swiss (65.7) and the Swedes (65.9) all retire later, on average, than we Canadians.

Next comes the Portuguese (66.95), Icelanders (66.95), Israelis (67.7), New Zealanders (68.1), Chileans (68.35) and Mexicans (68.9).

Finally, the longest-working citizens in the world are the Japanese (69.95) and South Koreans (72.3).

The article makes the point that all OECD governments are mindful of the fact that people are continuing to live longer and work longer — so government retirement benefits are changing in many of these countries, or have changed.

In Canada, government retirement benefits are very modest — so if you don’t have a retirement program through your work, you will be the one who shoulders the responsibility of saving for retirement. If you’re in that boat, the Saskatchewan Pension Plan may be just what the doctor ordered. Any Canadian with registered retirement savings plan room can join. You can contribute as much as you want each year (up to your available RRSP room) and can transfer any amount in from another RRSP. SPP invests that money for you, professionally and at a low cost, in a pooled fund. At retirement time — whenever that is — SPP gives you an array of retirement income options, including the possibility of a monthly lifetime annuity! Check out SPP today!

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.


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