A new study conducted by AgeCalculator.com has unveiled significant insights into the global trends in retirement age increases between 2000 and 2020, based on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The United Kingdom has experienced a notable rise in retirement age, ranking 22nd with a 4.45 percent increase, while the United States ranks 28th with a 4.01 percent increase over the same period.

Several other Western nations also feature in the top 30, including Australia, the United States, and Canada. The comprehensive study analysed retirement age data from various countries to determine which populations have seen the most substantial increases.

At the top of the list is Bulgaria, which has experienced a remarkable 13.26 percent increase in its average retirement age, rising from 56 years in 2000 to 63 years in 2020.

Estonia follows in second place with an 11.93 percent increase, and Latvia is third with a 10.57 percent increase. Both Estonia and Latvia saw their retirement ages rise from 58 and 59 years, respectively, to 65 years by 2020.

New Zealand stands out as the only non-European country in the top 10, ranking fourth with a 9.84 percent increase, reaching the highest retirement age on the list at 67 years. Hungary rounds out the top five with an 8.56 percent increase.

Eastern European countries dominate the list, with Romania (8.42%) and Slovenia (8.35%) securing the sixth and seventh spots, respectively. Western European nations appear less frequently among the highest increases, with Portugal in eighth place (7.92%), The Netherlands in ninth (7.65%), and Lithuania rounding out the top 10 (7.57%).

The top 10 countries with the highest increase in retirement age from 2000 to 2020 are:

Rank Country Retirement age in 2000 Retirement age in 2020 Percentage Increase
1 Bulgaria 56 63 13.26%
2 Estonia 58 65 11.93%
3 Latvia 59 65 10.57%
4 New Zealand 61 67 9.84%
5 Hungary 56 60 8.56%
6 Romania 60 65 8.42%
7 Slovenia 56 61 8.35%
8 Portugal 59 64 7.92%
9 The Netherlands 59 63 7.65%
10 Lithuania 59 63 7.57%

A spokesperson for AgeCalculator.com commented on these findings, stating, “The trend of increasing retirement age across many nations reflects a complex interplay of various factors. These include the extension of life expectancy due to medical advancements, economic pressures preventing comfortable retirements due to rising living costs, and shifting demographics, such as declining birth rates and aging populations.”

The data highlights a distinct trend among European countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, with substantial increases in retirement age. The first Western European country to appear in the rankings is Portugal in eighth place, followed by The Netherlands, with Italy appearing further down in 15th place. This study underscores the global shift towards later retirement, influenced by both economic and demographic changes.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.