The Nordic Welfare State: Towards a Further Raising of the Retirement Age


  • The on-going process of demographic ageing forces states to reform their pension schemes. In order to assure the stability of the financing of pensions and the stable long-term economic growth, it is vital to increase the number of working people, which can be achieved through the raising of the retirement age.
  • Demographic ageing is observable in every society, albeit its pace varies. Those especially likely to be touched by the process are the Nordic countries, where the discussion on the possible changes in the pension schemes, which could help to postpone the process of deactivation, is already underway.
  • The Nordic pension schemes’ primary characteristic is the high effective retirement age, which was achieved thanks to the limitation of the possibility of earlier professional deactivation and to the creation of numerous encouragements for longer presence in the labour market.
  • In the forthcoming years it is to be expected that Sweden and Finland (perhaps also Iceland) will introduce the reforms of the pension schemes where one of the basic tools will be, as it seems, the raising of the retirement age.
  • Despite the fact that traditionally the Nordic countries were said to be “demographically old”, in the next 50 years the demographic situation in Poland will worsen more drastically.
  • Hence, it is crucially important to open a discussion about the further raising of the retirement age to the levels of 68-69 or on the possibility to extend the period of professional activity (for example, through the postponement of the moment in which the earlier pension can be received). Furthermore, it is vital to close the loopholes which allow certain groups like public officers, miners, farmers and others to obtain their pensions earlier.