Rising trend of Sweden’s civil servants retiring at 67

Sweden’s state employees are now more likely to retire in the month they turn 67 than when they turn 65, according to the latest data from SPV, which is responsible for administering government employee pensions.

Its report found that retiring at 65 is no longer the obvious choice, with the so-called 65-year norm becoming weaker. It has also noticed that in recent years the spread in retirement age among government employees has become greater.

Around one in five government employees now take out their old-age pension in the month they turn 67. This is the third year in a row that the ‘67th month’ is the most common month to retire.

SPV statistician, Helén Högberg, said: “In 2019, 33 per cent more people remained in employment up to and including the month they turned 67 compared to the number that retired the month before they turned 65. This difference has never been as great as 2019.”

At the same time, another trend noted by SPV is that withdrawals before the age of 65 continue to increase and in 2019, 32 per cent took out their retirement pension before the age of 65.

“And in this group we see that the average age is decreasing. The age when you get your first payout gets lower and lower every year,” Högberg stated.

Among those who withdraw their pension before the age of 65, more than half also make a so-called temporary withdrawal of their defined benefit occupational pension.

This means that they charge as much as possible before the age of 65 and that they receive a considerably lower monthly amount or no amount at all paid after 65. Almost one in four will have no occupational pension payment after 65 years, SPV said.

“For many, this means a reduction of thousands of SEK each month in paid pension after 65 years,” Högberg said.

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