Verhoftstadt outlines planto discourage early retirement
27 October 2004
BRUSSELS – Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has launched an appeal to discourage workers from going into early retirement, it was reported Wednesday.
Critics of the current system fear that Belgium will not be able to maintain its level of economic prosperity if by 2010 only half of the 55 years and older population will be working, as is predicted. For the moment the proportion is only 28 percent.
Verhofstadt has now appealed to the social partners to come to the rescue, appealing for “calmness and serenity” in figuring out how to ensure that older workers do not leave their jobs.
The government insisted that it would “not touch” the advantages currently enjoyed by those who have already opted for early retirement.
However, it has put a number of options on the table to reducing the number of individuals who choose to go this route.
One of these ideas would be to require everyone to work a certain number of years, so that the sooner one enters the workforce the earlier one can retire.
Another idea put forth by the government would be to give a financial incentive to early retirees, also known as pre-pensioners, to return to the workplace.
Belgian union CSC pointed out that the problem faced by Belgian is actually a global one and warned against “yielding to panic”.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject : Belgian news