January 28, 2023

These are the Latin American countries with the highest retirement age

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(CNN Spanish) — The pension reform proposed by the Government of France has unleashed strong criticism and protests in the streets among the country’s main unions and has once again put the debate on the retirement age in the rest of the world on the table. . What is the outlook in Latin America?

In most Latin American countries the minimum retirement age is 65, three more years of work compared to what is currently advocated by French unions that legally retire at 62.

With the reform proposed by President Emmanuel Macron, now workers would retire at 64 years of age. This would imply two more years of work that the eight of the largest unions in France, in the transport, education, police, executive and public sectors, have been rejecting since this week in the streets with “strikes and protests.”

This is the panorama of the retirement age in the different countries of Latin America:

The retirement age in Latin America

Mexico is among the countries with the highest retirement age in Latin America. As in Costa Rica and Peru, in Mexico a person who wants to retire must be 65 years old.

In Argentina, Chile and Cuba, men also retire at 65, however, women do so at 60. In countries like Colombia and Panama, men retire at 62, while women can do so at 57 years.

In Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia the retirement ages are lower. Uruguayans, both men and women, retire at 60 years of age, while in Venezuela only men retire at this age and women at 55, according to information from the official government agencies of each country.

Guatemala is the country in the region with the lowest retirement age. Both men and women retire at age 50.

In Ecuador, the retirement age is based on the amount of contributions to the pension system and having completed a minimum of weeks of contributions, according to the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (IESS).

An “accelerated aging” that puts pressure on pension systems

One of the big questions that experts are asking in the debate on retirement in Latin America is how to finance the pension systems in a region where there is “accelerated aging”, which places significant pressure on the public finances of the countries, says Alberto Arenas in a 2020 document of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal) on the situation.

To put it into figures, Arenas points out that, in that year, close to 57 million people belonged to the group of 65 years and over, the minimum retirement age in most Latin American countries. PBy 2040, “it is projected that around 111 million people will be in this age group, reaching 15% of the total population in the region.”

Added to the growing number of older adults in Latin America are informal workers who do not usually contribute to their pension, points the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This is a region in which trends show that there could be more pensioners and fewer workers contributing to the system.

“In addition to being few, the contributions of these workers are often too irregular to finance adequate benefits. By 2050, between 63 and 83 million people could not receive an adequate pension in the absence of reforms and efforts to increase employment in the formal sector, including access to quality education,” says the OECD.

With information Joseph Ataman and Marguerite Lacroix of CNN in Paris



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