Austria shamed by EU-wide pension age list

Austria has made the top three in a humiliating European Union (EU) retirement age ranking.The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures presented today (Weds) reveal that Belgium and France were the only other EU member states with a comparably low average pensioning age as Austria where men retire on average at 59 and women at 58.The EU average is two years higher for each, the OECD said. International comparisons meanwhile exposed in the US that Americans work five years longer than Austrians, while Japanese workers and employees beat Austria by a stunning ten years.These figures are expected to put pressure on the government and its plans to react to the soaring costs in healthcare and the social system also caused by a steady ageing of the society.Researchers have appealed to political leaders to consider their concepts to stop the cycle of rising expenses due to the increasing life expectancy with a comparably low age of retirement.The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) have been pointed out as a haven of privileges for staff as statistics reveal that ÖBB workers retired at an average age of 52.Christian Kern remained tight-lipped over how he planned to tackle the problem since he took over as new boss of the firm earlier this month.Social Democratic (SPÖ) Traffic Minister meanwhile Doris Bures said she wanted to increase the age of retirement by at least one year annually from 2011.Reinhold Lopatka, financial affairs state secretary of the SP֒s coalition partner the People’s Party’s (ÖVP), however claimed such a move would not be courageous enough to get the indebted company – which is close to the state – back on track.