2004
Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424

Abstract

Early retirement in Belgium: is change at hand?

Early retirement in Belgium: is change at hand?

Labour participation in Belgium of workers older than 50 years is very low in comparison with those in other European countries. In this article explanations for this low score are investigated and areas of reform are explored. Thereby, inspiration is drawn from international research and foreign reforms. The early labour market exit in Belgium is attributed to a mixture of factors, i.c.: 1) the generosity of available early retirement programs, 2) the high labour cost for older workers, 3) the lack of training investments in older workers, and 4) the social acceptance of policies oriented towards early retirement. A policy that wants to extend the end of career, needs to intervene in these areas. In this article it is argued that Belgian policy takes measures in the areas mentioned, though the effects of the measures taken probably will remain restricted. This doubt concerning the policy effectiveness is based on the observation that the measures mainly remain restricted to the margins of the existing rules, whereas more fundamental reforms are needed. The restriction of the reforms is related to trade union resistance to give up vested practices and interests.

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2006-06-01
2021-10-27
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