Older Swiss reject raising the retirement age

Women in particular were against spending more time at work Keystone

Work longer? No thanks! Swiss aged 50-70 reject any form of increase in the age of retirement, especially women and those in the French-speaking part of the country, according to a representative survey by consultants Deloitte Switzerland. 

This content was published on October 7, 2019 - 09:46

The poll of 1,000 people aged 50-70 was conducted in June in the context of the restructuring of the health insurance system and the upcoming reforms to be decided by parliament. The age group surveyed represents 36% of the voting population and has an above-average participation rate. 

Five variants of an increase in the retirement age were presented: “retirement at 65 for women”, “66 for men”, “66 for both”, “gradual at 67” and “adjusted for life expectancy”, Deloitte said on Monday. 

None of the five proposals received a majority. The results showed that 47% of respondents were in favour of raising the retirement age for women to 65. On this issue, the approval rate was 32% for women and 60% for men. 

“Women are much more opposed to all variants of the increase in retirement age, especially those that affect them directly,” explained Reto Savoia, director of Deloitte Switzerland. “This could be due to the fact that, alongside work, they continue to do more domestic and family tasks than men and that some of them feel disadvantaged in the world of work.” 

The variants “66 years for men” and “66 years for both” had only 32% support: 30% of women and 35% of men for the former, 25% and 40% respectively for the latter. 

The “gradual retirement at 67” variant was the least attractive, with 22% in favour (14% of women and 30% of men). The “adjusted life expectancy” was also not very attractive: only 28% of respondents were in favour (23% of women and 34% of men). 

Linguistic divide 

The survey also found that a new vote on raising the retirement age could lead to a political divide between linguistic regions. 

Only 24% of respondents in French-speaking Switzerland agreed that the retirement age for women should be raised to 65. In German-speaking Switzerland the approval rate is 55%.

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