EU Official Suggests 'Flexible' Retirement Age

December 21, 2005 ( - A European Commission official asserted that member countries may want to move to flexible retirement ages.

Klaus Regling, director general of the Commission’s Directorate General of Economic and Financial Affairs, made the assertion in the introduction to the latest Quarterly Report on the Euro Area, according to an IPE news report.

“Longer life expectancy may pave the way for a possible expansion of the share of life spent in retirement. However, retirement decisions also need to be economically and financially viable,” said Regling. “Flexible retirement ages adapting to a continuously increasing life expectancy may be the appropriate policy response.”

Regling added that EU policies promoted by the Lisbon Strategy included contributing to rising employment rates by curtailing early retirement plans, raising retirement ages and strengthening the incentives to delay retirement.

Pension funds shifting their investments into longer-term bond portfolios due to population aging was one of a number of global factors behind the current low long-term interest rates.