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How Norway's government plans to change the retirement age

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How Norway's government plans to change the retirement age
Norway's government wants to introduce a new flexible retirement age based on life expectancy. Pictured are two retirees in Norway looking at a cruise ship. Photo by Julius Yls on Unsplash

The retirement age will be raised for the pension system in Norway to remain sustainable, and a new flexible approach could be implemented, the government said Thursday.

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Norway's Labour Minister, Tonje Brenna, wants to raise Norway's retirement age and introduce a more flexible system. 

"In order for the pension system to be sustainable over time, both for each and every one of us and for the state finances, we must make adjustments going forward," she told business and financial site E24

"More and more of us are getting older, and that is basically good news - it means that we are healthier and live longer. But it also means one more thing, namely that I have to work longer than my parents, and my children have to work longer than me," she added. 

Brenna's plan is based on recommendations from parliament's Pension Committee, presented last year and intended to build on a pension reform from 2011. 

The fresh reform would see the retirement age of 67 replaced by a variable age limit that increases as life expectancy increases. Over time, the retirement age would increase by two-thirds of the life expectancy increase. 

As an example, somebody born in 1980 would have a retirement age of 69 under the rules proposed by the Labour Minister and the Pension Committee. 

"I think it makes sense to raise the age limit gradually. If we do it too quickly, it will have some strange results," Brenna said. 

The minister added that she did not want the new pension system to become a cost-cutting exercise for the government. 

"But there is a difference between expensive, and so expensive that the system eventually collapses. That is what we must try to avoid," she said. 

"Then we spend more money than we pay in taxes to have the welfare system we have. But the recipe for collapse is that many more people are retired for much longer, and no one works anymore, then it's finished," Brenna added. 

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The proposals have met some opposition. The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) has expressed concerns over how the retirement age would work for those in physically demanding occupations. 

Brenna said the government would look at such groups but also said that employers will need to adapt work to ensure it is suitable for employees. 

"So, this is also a message to the employers that they must make an effort to include more people in work and better adapt the working life to the employees. Because when the whole of society depends on more of us working longer, we have to work in a different way. Our bodies and minds must last many more working years," Brenna said.

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Steven Johnson 2023/11/14 21:53
I seriously doubt any employer will make any suggested changes. There seem to be no metrics or evidence given that supports the idea that people must be given an adjustment to their working conditions so they are able to live longer. Just themes, notions and ideas. Nothing that must be adhered to… yet the requirement to raise the retirement age is absolute. I doubt the government people that demand the raise of age will actually be required to keep working to 67 or beyond. They will likely retire on time.

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