The failure of EU countries to prepare for the needs of their aging populations was debated at length during this conference in Brussels. A new report from The Wold Bank was released at the conference and it highlights how birthrates in the EU are falling, young adults are migrating from the bloc because of the economic crisis and people are living longer while still retiring at a relatively young age. It means fewer people are working and paying tax so countries are struggling to pay adequate pensions and other benefits to the elderly, pushing many vulnerable citizens into poverty.
Trade Unions vigorously resist attempts to raise the retirement age, which on average across the EU is 60, but experts say governments and firms need to make the idea of working longer more attractive.
It is estimated that the number of people over the age of 80 in the EU will triple during the next 45 years. Economists say that many countries won’t be able to afford this.
Currently only half of all 60-year-olds in the EU are in employment. Experts say this statistic clearly shows that many EU countries need to increase their retirement age thresholds otherwise, due to decreasing birthrates, there will be 19 million fewer workers in the EU by the year 2060.
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