Vervroegd pensioen in Europa | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


Early retirement in Europe

Early retirement in Europe

In this article a comparison is made of the different European pension systems and early retirement patterns. With this comparison a contribution is made to the current discussion about reshaping the welfare state and increasing the labour participation of older workers. The central question is: what early retirement systems can be distinguished in Europe and how do early retirement patterns differ in countries with different early retirement systems? The first part of this question is answered by using macro economic information, while the second part is analysed using longitudinal data (ECHP). The research shows that both the financial generosity and the choice possibilities with respect to early retirement differ markedly across European countries. It is especially these features of the country's pension system that contribute to higher percentages of early retirement. Compared to other European countries, the Netherlands and Belgium have a multitude of early retirement possibilities that are all quite generous. Consequently, their early retirement percentages are among the highest in Europe. The research further shows that important conclusions can be drawn from looking at the Scandinavian countries or the United Kingdom where the systems are financially less attractive and labour participation of older workers is distinctly higher.


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