Only one in five work until official retirement age

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Fewer Norwegians are working past the age of 60 and less than 22 percent stay on the job until reaching the official retirement age of 67, reports newspaper Aftenposten.

Years of government efforts to keep Norwegians working longer don’t seem to be working. Fresh figures from the Ministry of Labour show that of 38,500 Norwegians who turned 67 in 2008, only 21.8 percent had been working full-time during the previous year.

Fully 40 percent of those turning 67 already had qualified for some form of disability pay before reaching retirement age, while 22.7 percent had qualified for early retirement through so-called AFP (avtalefestetpensjon) programs. Such programs are usually available through collective bargaining agreements, and allow Norwegians to retire from age 62 in return for reduced retirement benefits.

Some 60-year-olds who wanted to keep working reported that it was difficult to find jobs, while those still working felt not-so-subtle pressure to retire. Labour statistics supported the scarcity of seniors in the workforce: In the hotel and restaurant industry, for example, only 3 percent of the work force was 62 or older, in retailing, finance and health care just 4 percent, and 5 percent in industry and real estate. 

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