What is the retirement age in Europe?

In the Member States of the European Union, the most general retirement age is 65. Spain and Germany are about to increase it from 65 to 67while the target in the UK and Ireland is 68 years. Increasingly, retirement is linked to life expectancy and in addition to Finland, the first country to adopt the measure, this mechanism is available in Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia. Also in Great Britain this system will be introduced shortly.

For the most part, changes in retirement ages will take place between 2020 and 2030 And, in some countries, these are different for men and women. In that case, women have a lower retirement age and, as a general rule, as retirement ages increase, those of women will be the same as those of men.

To consider

Despite the ages set for most citizens of a country, there are many cases in which people can also retire late. As a rule, they are entitled to an increase of late retirement. In many countries, it is possible retire early, before the established age, and in others, if the period of contribution to social security has reached a certain number of years, the pension that is paid in advance is not reduced. The retirement age in Norway, Sweden and Finland is flexible, which means that a person can withdraw his pension within a certain age range. What happens in other countries?

EuropaPress 2428531 The head of the demonstration in defense of pensions with a banner that reads 'Those who govern public pensions defend themselves' in Madrid (Spain) on October 16, 2019


In France, women on average retire at 60.6 years, which is slightly later than men, who generally do so at 60.5. This is below the official retirement age of 62, which was a recent increase. Having said that, the French cannot receive the full state pension until five years later, at 67, as the French government wants to encourage people to work until later.


The average age at which men retire in Italy is just after their 62nd birthday, while women work until they are 60. But, officially, Italian men can retire at 66 years and 7 months, and women one year earlier. The previous administration tried to save money by proposing that people retire at age 67 in 2011. But more recently, the Five Star Movement coalition and the League Party controversially reversed the planned increase. The retirement will now be reduced to 62 for people who have paid into the Italian pension system for at least 38 years.


Currently, the Germans can collect their pension at 65, even if the middle German stops working at 63.5. Retirement is 65 for people born before 1947, 67 for anyone born after 1964, and somewhere in the middle of an increasing scale for people born in between. Politicians have even considered increasing retirement to 69 years in the coming decades, in an attempt to manage the country’s aging population, although there are no concrete plans to do so so far.

Active retirement, a pending issue in the Spanish system


Men and women in the Netherlands can currently leave work at 66, but the real average age of the Dutch to do so is less than 63.25 (63.8 for men and 62.7 for women). Despite this, the government will gradually increase the retirement age to 67 in 2021, amid concerns about the costs of an aging population. The government is also trying to incentivize citizens to work longer, with higher contributions for those still employed above the pension age and bonuses for the companies that hire them.


They are currently in their 65s, and most work up to a few months before being able to collect their pension, with a real retirement established on average at 64.5. Women saw a controversial increase in their retirement age from 60 to 65 in the last three years, and both genders currently face a gradual increase to 66 by October 2020, and another to 68 by 2039 at the latest.


On average, Portuguese men retire at 69.6, while women leave work at 65.6. Officially, men and women can expect to retire at 66 and 3 months, although this will increase to 67 in 2029. The age increased in 2017 due to increasing life expectancy and pressure to save money to the state coffers after Portugal received an international bailout in 2011.


The official retirement age in our country gradually increases from 65 to 67 by 2027, but on average Spaniards retire at 61.9 (men at 62.2 and women at 61.6). The Government had been under pressure from investors and international organizations to keep people working longer and to reduce public spending. The unions threatened to strike for the increase, but relented after the executive communicated that workers could still retire at 65 if they had at least 38 years of contributions.