AUSTRIA - The new Austrian coalition government has extended the Hacklerregelung, a special retirement scheme for manual labourers, from 2008 to 2010 and will raise the retirement age for those eligible.
Sworn in this morning, the Austrian government now consists of a coalition formed by the new Social Democrat head of government, Alfred Gusenbauer, and his conservative predecessor, Wolfgang Schuessel.
The coalition has agreed to make changes to the country’s pension system.
One of the key changes will be the extension of the Hacklerregelung. In Austrian, hackler is slang for an unskilled manual worker. The Hackerregelung is a special retirement scheme for manual labourers, which allows them to retire earlier than their white-collar counterparts. The scheme was due to be abolished in 2008 but has now been extended by a further two years.
In addition to the extension, there will be an increase in the retirement age to qualify for the scheme. This will rise by six months each year to the final age of 60 for women and 65 for men in 2019. Under the previous regulation, the age to qualify for the Hacklerregelung was 55 for women and 60 for men.
The new government has also declared that the key characteristics of the pension system - retirement age, accrual rate and the like, will be changed automatically in line with demographic developments. An evaluation of these characteristics was previously carried out every three years.
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