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Most Belgians expect to stop working before 65

© Belga

Sixty-three per cent of Belgian workers say they cannot work until their statutory pension age, it emerged from the two-yearly employability barometer published on Wednesday by the human resources company Securex.

For the fourth time since 2013, Securex is measuring through its employability barometer the age until which the Belgian worker thinks in terms of “able to”, “want to” and “have to” work.

“What is amazing is that in spite of the authorities’ and employers’ efforts, the figures remain more or less the same,” the services provider RH noted.

Seven workers out of 10 (72%) think they have to work at least until they are 65, the current legal pensionable age. More than a quarter (27%) think they have to work until the age of 65 and 31% until the age of 67, which is the statutory pension age from 2030. Six per cent think they must work until the age of 70.

But a majority of Belgian workers (63%) think they will not “be able to” work until the age of 65. Nearly one in three workers (31%) even say they are only able to work until the age of 60. Barely one Belgian worker in five (20%) thinks they can work until their legal pensionable age (65) and 17% considers they can still work on after they are 65.

“A fact still more remarkable is that the Belgian worker does not want to work until he is 65 at all, and certainly not beyond that,” Securex continued. Questioned about the age until which they want to work, nearly three out of four workers (74%) give a reply that is below the legal pensionable age. 16% want to work until they are 65 and barely one worker in ten is inclined to work beyond that.

For Securex, “it serves absolutely nothing making people work for longer.” But workers who like their job or find it meaningful logically want to work and can do so for longer. “You get this result by giving them autonomy, by stimulating solidarity with colleagues and by ensuring they are able to apply their skills,” the human resources company advised.

The main obstacles to working for longer are “the mental workload” (stress, work rates, intensity of the work), “the working conditions’ emotional effects” (environment, colleagues, clients, situations that are difficult to manage and abuse) followed by “the physical circumstances” (for example, noise, light and temperature). The physical workload only manages fourth place.

The survey was carried out on the basis of a sample of 1,502 respondents.

The Brussels Times

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