May 13, 2011

ČZECH REPUBLIC: Czech state does not support employment of older people

PRAGUE / The Prague Daily Monitor / News / May 12, 2011

The retirement age has been rising in the Czech Republic, however, the state has not introduced any measure supporting the employment of older people so far, according to an analysis of the Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs in Prague.

The possibility of lower taxes or insurance payments for firms that would give part-time jobs to older people or parents of small children was considered but nothing of the kind has been introduced.

The retirement age for Czechs has been gradually rising and it is to reach 65 around 2030.

No upper limit of the retirement age is set in a pension bill that the lower house of parliament is currently discussing.

In September 2010, about 46 percent of people aged from 55 to 64 had a job in the Czech Republic, which is close to the EU average. While Sweden had the highest employment rate in this age group (71 percent), Poland and Hungary had the lowest, with 36 percent.

Some EU countries have adopted measures supporting the employment of older people.

In France, companies must create three-year action plans for people who are close to retirement age or pay a fine to the state. If people get retired early, their companies must continue to pay the social insurance for them and a pension two times higher than before the measures were introduced.

The retirement age in France is 65. The portion of people aged 55-64 who had a job increased from 38 to 40 percent in the past three years.

Belgium introduced a law cancelling advantageous early pension programmes that were introduced in the 1970s and 1980s in order to secure jobs for younger people and good conditions for the older ones. Due to these generous Belgian programmes, however, only 38 percent of people aged from 55 to 64 had a job last autumn.

Copyright 2011 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK).