Top 10 Countries Where Retirement Comes Early

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In some countries, it is still possible to retire in your 50s, though the retirement age is rising globally due to life expectancy. Though women retire before men in most countries, that is the case mainly in Asian countries. The only rule regarding retirement is that there are no rules, and they solely depend on a country-by-country basis. So, here are the top 10 countries with the earliest retirement age. 

1. Thailand

In Thailand, the retirement age is 55, though that will likely change soon. More than 20% of the population is aged 60 and older, and due to an increase in seniors and a decrease in birth rates, in late 2023, there were discussions about raising the retirement age to support the aging population. 

2. India

India has the second-lowest retirement age, ranging between 58 and 62. However, India is also considering raising the retirement age depending on the type of work. For example, those who work in the private sector can retire at 58. Yet, the numbers are slightly different for those working for the government. 

One recent suggestion was raising the retirement age of government-employed scientists from 60 to 65. Also, doctors can retire at 62 but are allowed to work until they turn 65. Since India is the most populated country, with 28 states and eight union territories, numbers might differ from the norm. 

3. Indonesia

Like many other neighboring countries, Indonesia has an aging population. The retirement age in 2024 is 58, but it increases one year every three years. In 2014, people could retire at 55; by 2043, it will be 65. 

4. North Korea

In North Korea, women can retire at 55 while men at 60. Due to the aging population and living expenses, some return to the workforce, reportedly for lower wages and less secure working positions. Certain military officials officially retire once they die. 

5. South Korea

South Koreans who retired before 2017 could start getting pensions at 58. However, the country’s current retirement age is 60, though demographic shifts and labor shortages mean that many of those 60 and above can choose to remain part of the workforce. 

6. Malaysia

Despite considering raising the retirement age to 65, in Malaysia, it is still 60, and premature retirement is not possible. In 2012, the retirement age was extended from 58 to 60 in the private and public sectors. 

The new law, discussed at the beginning of 2024, suggested that men and women from Malaysia will retire at 64 starting in 2026. 

7. Oman

Currently, women in Oman retire at 55 and men at 60. However, that number rises one year every seven years, though the new program offers better maternal and paternal leave, work injury/illness benefits from 2026, and early retirement eligibility with lower pensions.

The majority of the workforce in Oman are foreigners, so the country is trying to keep up with global trends to satisfy its employees. 

8. Pakistan

In Pakistan, like in Oman, women retire at 55 and men at 60 if they have worked for at least 25 years. However, this won’t be the case for much longer, as the country will likely raise the minimum retirement age for men to 62 to reduce the burden of pension payments. 

9. Philippines

The mandatory retirement age for civil workers in the Philippines is 65 years. They currently have the option to take early retirement at 60. Any employee with at least five years of service can retire at 60, though a vast number of retirees depend on working people. 

10. Saudi Arabia

The official retirement age in Saudi Arabia is 60 for men and women. However, retirement at any age is possible for those who have worked for at least 25 years. 

People over 60 can work in some cases, though they need special permits. In the private sector, 65 is becoming the norm, though the country will likely raise the retirement age in the upcoming years. 

What about the EU?

Since France is facing an increase in people over 85, the government raised the retirement age from 62 to 64. Despite the massive protests, the government passed the new law, bringing France closer to the EU average of 64.3 years for men and 63.5 years for women.

However, there is a catch. The new rule, set to start in 2027, will allow people to retire at 64 and have 43 years of work if they want a full pension. If not, they will have to wait until they turn 67. 

Where does the US stand? 

In the States, the average retirement age is 64. For men, it is usually two to three years longer than for women, though the economic situation is pushing people from retirement in the US as well as across the globe. In 1991, you only needed to be 57 to retire. 

The retirement age in the US depends on socioeconomic status, and while many complain that Americans work more than others, in Iceland, the retirement age for a full pension is 67 years. Israel, Norway, Netherlands, and Australia follow Iceland as countries with the highest retirement age in the world.  

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