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Global Economy

Anyone who wants to should be allowed to work longer

In an interview with the "Handelsblatt", Economics Minister Robert Habeck brought up a higher voluntary retirement age. However, Habeck wants to initiate a debate without a clear boundary. The Green politician envisions "a retirement window, not a fixed age," as he told the newspaper.

The background to these statements is the persistently high shortage of skilled workers in Germany. "One should be able to work flexibly for longer. That would be a double benefit: Anyone who wants to can contribute their knowledge, skills and experience for longer. Companies and society can benefit from this. And we could counteract the shortage of skilled workers. So we should think about it like this talk something like a retirement window, not a fixed age."

Increased demand for skilled workers in the future

A paper by the ministry, which is available to the dpa news agency, states that the shortage of skilled workers will intensify in the coming years. With the transition of the baby boomer generation into retirement, the number of people in work will decrease significantly. At the same time, digitization and the transformation towards climate neutrality would increase or change the need for skilled workers.

In order to master these challenges, the federal government will continue to develop its skilled labor strategy. From the point of view of the ministry, it is about increasing the volume of work. There is still untapped potential, especially among women and older people.

A framework should be created so that employees work at least up to the standard retirement age and, if necessary, voluntarily beyond that – for example by making retirement more flexible, combined with financial incentives to work longer for those who want to. According to the current legal situation, the age limit for the pension will be gradually raised from 65 to 67 years without deductions by 2029.

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