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France wants to raise its retirement age as a way to shore up government finances. A look at retirement ages in other major European countries, and proposed plans to change them:
-- Britain; 65 for men and 60 for women. The government has started plans to raise women's pension age to 65 by 2012. Authorities are also looking to raise the state pension age further to 68, although plans are not due to begin before 2024.
-- Germany; 65, but government is debating raising it to 67.
-- Italy; people in the private sector can retire at 60 if they have paid into the social security system for at least 35 years; Under a reform begun a few years ago, the age is being gradually raised and by 2018 it will be 65.
-- Netherlands; 65, but new government has pledged to raise it to 66.
-- Austria; women at 62, men at 65; there have been repeated calls to raise age but no concrete measures taken yet.
-- Spain; 65, but government has pledges to raise it to 67. This one of the reforms unions cited but unions that staged general strike in September;
-- Greece; 65 for men, 60 for women. There are plans to raise women's retirement age to 65 by 2013 for public service, and private sector likely to follow. As part of austerity measures in Greece, early retirement opportunities are being drastically cut back.
-- Switzerland; 65 for men, 64 for women. Business groups are pushing for it to be gradually raised to 67 for both sexes by 2030.
-- Sweden; ordinary retirement age in Sweden is 65 but Swedes have the right to retire as early as 61 and as late as 67.
-- Norway; 67.
-- Denmark; 67.
-- Belgium; 65.