‘Pension age could inch up again’: report

Swedes may again be facing additional years at work, with the official pension age hitting 69, if a government review expected in the spring goes from words to actions.

'Pension age could inch up again': report

A report in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper shows that both the minimum and maximum pension age might be raised.

In other words, the youngest age that a Swede can access the general pension system will no longer be 61. Swedes would instead have to wait until they are 63.

They will also have the right to keep working beyond the new pension age of 67, which now may end up being 69.

This would bring Sweden in line with Nordic neighbours Norway and Iceland, the two countries with the oldest pension age in all of Europe.

In the US, the upper pension age is 66 for citizens born before 1960, and 67 for those born later, according to OECD statistics. In France, the lower limit is 60, the upper limit 62.

For private pensions and certain types of service pensions, access is possible after the person turns 55, according to DN’s review.

A government review of pensions lead by Ingemar Eriksson is currently underway. He declined to comment on any of the leaked figures, saying the report would be published in April.

Pensions have become a hot button topic in Sweden, after the right-of-centre government proposed inching up the age limits last year.

Employees in high-stress sectors such as nursing have said it is not physically possible for many healthcare providers to add years to their working lives.

The Swedish Pensions Authority’s own statistics shows that Swedes who did not finish high school retire at an average age of 61.7, while Swedes who have gone onto further education retire at 63.4.

Swedes who have continued their studies and have done academic research work even longer, retiring on average at the age of 65.

TT/The Local/at

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Koran burnings by Danish far-Right extremist no longer causing riots, Swedish police say

Swedish police said there have been no disturbances associated with the Koran burning by Danish far-Right extremist Rasmus Paludan and his party Stram Kurs ("Hard Line") this week around Stockholm, unlike the riots seen over Easter.

Koran burnings by Danish far-Right extremist no longer causing riots, Swedish police say

Paludan and his party have been holding demonstrations this week involving burning the Koran, in what Paludan describes as an “election tour” ahead of standing in Sweden’s parliamentary election in September.

However Swedish newswire TT has reported that few people have seemed to care about the shock tactics used and police have confirmed that no major disturbances have occurred as a result of the demonstrations.

This is in stark contrast to the demonstrations over Easter, which resulted in riots involving vandalism and violence aimed primarily at police. A total of 26 police officers were injured and at least 40 people were arrested.

“The police did not anticipate the extent of the protests and the enormous violence that the Easter riots brought with them. I don’t know if we have seen anything similar in Sweden in modern times,” Sten Widmalm, political scientist at Uppsala University, told newswire TT.

Widmalm says there are now fewer people turning up at Paludan’s demonstrations because of the number of people charged over the Easter riots. He also noted the increased police presence and adapted resources by the police, which has stopped anyone getting close to using violence.

Everyone that TT newswire spoke to a demonstration in Fittja torg, said they knew Paludan’s aim was to provoke people.

“I am a Muslim myself and I don’t care. For a true Muslim, all religions are equal. His message is to create conflict and irritation. You shouldn’t give him that,” Himmet Kaya told TT. 

According to Widmalm, there is nothing to indicate that Paludan will be successful at the Swedish election.

“On the other hand, I think that Stram Kurs has influenced Swedish politics very much in such a way that it has exposed large gaps in society. I think awareness of these has increased, due to the Easter riots – although it’s nothing to thank Paludan for.”

In Sweden, you must be a Swedish citizen in order to be elected to parliament. Paludan’s father is Swedish, and he applied for and was granted Swedish citizenship in 2020.

In order to enter the Swedish parliament, Paludan must win at least four percent of the vote in the upcoming election.

In 2019, Paludan stood in Danish parliamentary elections, achieving only 1.8 percent of the vote. Under Denmark’s proportional representation system, parties must achieve at least two percent of the vote in order to enter the Danish parliament.