A proposal by Norway’s conservative government coalition to raise the maximum age for salaried workers has sparked opposition from both the labour movement and employers’ organizations. The government claims it’s just trying to expand the work force.
Labour Minister Robert Eriksson of the Progress Party announced this week that the government proposes raising the age limit for workers from 70 to 72 and later to 75. The standard age for being able to retire, however, will remain at 67.
Those who want to continue working may be able to for another eight years, if Eriksson wins political support in Parliament for the proposal. That may be difficult, given the immediate opposition he met on both ends of the political spectrum.
Both of Norway’s major trade union federations, LO and Unio, objected to the proposal, fearing it will pressure older workers to keep working and may lead to undesired changes in pension benefits. The national employers’ organization NHO doesn’t like the proposal either, fearing it will make it more difficult for employers to renew their workforces and keep younger workers out of the market.
Eriksson argued that Norway needs more workers and should encourage Norwegians to work longer if they want to. The proposal is expected to meet hefty debate in Parliament.