Expatica news

Belgian firms want staff to retire later

13 July 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s businesses want their workers to retire later, it was reported on Tuesday.

The federation of Belgian businesses (FEB) says far too many Belgians are leaving employment early and it has drawn up a ‘master plan’ to keep the country’s workers grafting longer.

The initiative comes in the wake of an official report, which showed recently that just one in four Belgians over 55 still work.

“We have to bring clarity back: up to 60, you have to be available on the work market,” said FEB director general Pieter Timmermans.

“We have to scrap the exceptions. People need to understand that it isn’t normal to be retired at 52-years-old.”

FEB pointed to a European Commission report on ageing, which concluded that unless there are changes, health care and pension costs will go up by 3.8 percent between now and 2030.

And, said the FEB, it is companies that will end up footing most of that bill.

The FEB wants the Belgian government to adopt a ‘stick and carrot’ approach to the retirement question.

On the one hand it wants to see more incentives for older workers, including the creation of specialised advice services.

But it is also calling for early retirement schemes to be scrapped.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news