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Push up retirement age, European Commission recommends

Retirement ages across the EU should rise as life expectancy increases, a new paper from the European Commission has proposed.

Where currently there are four people of working age for every one over 65, this number will be cut in half by 2060, making state pensions more unaffordable, the paper noted.

Although the UK, France and other EU member states have put forward plans to raise the retirement age in their own countries, the EC has proposed that such measures are made automatic.

Under the recommendations, all governments would impose changes to ensure that the longer people live, the later they retire. Each country would retain differing retirement ages, but all would increase progressively.

The idea would be to make decisions on retirement ages a matter of employment law rather than politics.

The EC paper said: "Introducing an automatic adjustment that increases the pensionable age in line with future gains in life expectancy represents a promising policy option."