Rõivas doubts retirement at 70 will become an issue any time soon (1)
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said on Thursday that he didn’t think Estonia’s plan to gradually increase the retirement age to 65 put the country at a disadvantage in the European comparison, and that he knew of no countries where 70 was the retirement age.
Rõivas said at the government’s press conference on Thursday that a clear aim of the pension system was to offer the older generation a sense of security. Every change to the system would have to be considered very carefully. “You can’t just say from one day to the next that now we decide to raise the retirement age, that’s not how it’s done, and luckily not necessary either,” Rõivas said.
He added that the current pension system’s sustainability had been examined in detail in 2009, when the decision was made to raise the retirement age to 65 by the year 2026. This plan corresponded to the projected means available to the country after ten years. “There’s certainly no need to worry until 2026,” Rõivas said.
The prime minister added that the option to peg the retirement age to life expectancy would be discussed, but that no quick decisions could be expected.
The country would have to deal with the issue, Rõivas said, adding that he doubted that a retirement age of 70 would suddenly become a possibility. In addition to the pension system and its sustainability, health issues should be considered as well to do something about those who had to stop working early because of their health.
Tsahkna: How Rõivas deals with pension reform will show how bold he really is
Minister of Social Protection Margus Tsahkna (IRL), who presented his plan to raise the retirement age to 70 by 2040, said on ETV’s “Terevisioon” on Thursday that he hoped the government would have the courage to deal with serious problems.
In his phone interview, Tsahkna said that the “lying to the people” and “living a sham” had to stop, and that during the last ten years several administrations had to deal with the pension system, but that none of them had had the courage to decide anything.
This, Tsahkna went on to say, was a problem that hasn’t just been put off, but that nobody even dared to talk about. The problem was that because of the decreasing birth rate and increasing life expectancy, there were fewer and fewer people working, which made the current system unsustainable.