The government is preparing to change the calculation method for determining the retirement age. People will be expected to spend an average of 21.5 years in retirement. As a result, in the future, retirement will occur later. This change will affect individuals born after 1965, including those in their fifties.
Although the change is scheduled to take effect in two years, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, its impact will be seen in 2031, specifically targeting the population born after 1965.
“The retirement age will be determined annually based on data from the Czech Statistical Office regarding the average life expectancy for men and women at the age of fifty,” confirmed Eva Davidová, a spokesperson for the ministry.
According to Davidová, nothing will change for current individuals in their fifties, and the retirement age limit will be extended by a maximum of six months.
In the coming years, the retirement age limit will likely be pushed further, meaning younger generations will start their retirement at or after age 66. The ministry does not expect individuals in their forties to retire at age 67.
Tricky Averages Currently, the retirement age gradually increases for each subsequent birth year, taking into account the number of children for women. For men, childless women, and women with one child, the retirement age should stabilize at 65 years in 2030 – specifically for the birth year 1965.
Women with two children will reach age 65 in 2031, and women with three or more children in 2034
The ministry justifies the changes in retirement age as a necessity to reduce the pension system deficit. Without these changes, pension-related expenses would reach five percent of the gross domestic product by 2050, amounting to an additional 350 billion CZK in today’s money.
However, the opposition and some experts see the plan as poorly thought out.
“The argument that the retirement age should be adjusted based on the increasing life expectancy is flawed. Life expectancy is an individual matter. Moreover, the healthy life expectancy, or the number of years a person can enjoy in retirement, is also important,” stated Aleš Juchelka, the shadow Minister of Labor from the ANO movement, suggesting that retirement should not occur later than 65.
The proposal is not well-received by labor unions either. “I feel Minister Marian Jurečka missed the mark a bit. Currently, men retire at the age of 64, and if you add the promised 21.5 years, you end up at the age of 85. But on average, men live significantly less, if I’m not mistaken,” commented Vít Samek, Vice Chairman of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions.
According to the latest annual pension report from 2021, the average life expectancy for seniors was 81.86 years, with nearly 24 years spent in retirement. The ministry referred to the data from the 2018 report, which shows similar figures.
Two years ago, statisticians calculated the life expectancy for men who turned fifty that year to be an average of 26.2 years. For women, it was an average of 31.8 years. Therefore, the average life expectancy for men was around 76 years, and for women’s was nearly 82 years.
The average time spent in retirement is also influenced by the pensions of people who retired earlier. In addition to individuals who opt for early retirement, professionals such as miners and emergency workers, including firefighters, may retire earlier.