Belgium does not need earlier retirement16 Oct 2005
Whatever the Belgian unions like ABVV and ACV would like to say, Belgium needs shorter work careers like a moose needs a hat rack.
Meanwhile, the Socialist union ABVV has said lifting the minimum early retirement age to 60 is “unacceptable” and directed sharp criticism to the Christian union ACV, claiming its more moderate stance gave Verhofstadt an “open target”.
ABVV secretary Xavier Verboven said unions would have had a stronger case to make in discussions with the government and employers if every worker had gone out on strike on 7 October.
If one takes the statistics from UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) of the activity rate (% of the people that are working) per age group, it is obvious to see that Belgium already has enough prepension. From the age of 40 onwards, Belgian men have the lowest activity rate of all major European countries. (Make your own conclusions)
Some other observations:
- the Swiss work the longest (activity rate only starts dropping at age 60)
- the Dutch start working the earliest (more than 50% work by their 19th birthday)
- the Italians start working the latest (they reach 50% around 24 years)
- of course they can’t beat us in retiring early, but the French come close
Compare this to the activity rate for women:
- lowest activity rate for Spain and Italy (no surprises there)
- most women active in Denmark: they top at 82% (the men’s top is 96%, in Germany)
- Belgian women like to work! Their activity rate is somewhere between the Irish and the Dutch.
- French women score even better, they’re up there with the English and the German!
So men, if you’re lazy: come live in Belgium and marry a Danish girl!