Are nurses 65 still employed?

Retire later, work longer

Gunnel Ginsburg is a 68 year old nurse and is still working. This is not unusual in Sweden, because people there retire much later than anywhere else in Europe. 70 percent of all 55 to 64 year olds are still working. In Germany, on the other hand, it is just 41 percent. There are several reasons for this, explains the work and economic sociologist Professor Bosch:

"The most important reason is that the Swedes have never pursued an early retirement policy like in Germany. It was preferred to re-qualify the employees, to prepare them for new jobs. Lifelong learning and further education is a matter of course in Sweden Another reason is that in Sweden the gender equality policy began as early as the late 1960s, and it is still too little seen that the high employment rates that are necessary to finance our pensions are only achieved can if the women are also gainfully employed. "

Experts agree that Germans need to mobilize their older workers more to avoid a decline in economic growth; not just because of the empty pension funds. Germans are getting fewer and older. Accordingly, the current labor market situation will also be reversed. According to the forecasts, there will be a shortage of skilled workers in Germany as early as 2010. The Scandinavians, on the other hand, began to activate as many workers as possible 35 years ago; so especially older people and women. Behind this so-called "working line concept" is a simple consideration, which Hans Olsson, economist at the Swedish Ministry of Social Affairs, summarizes as follows:

"The more work, the higher the income in this country. And the higher the income, the higher the demand for the entrepreneurs' products. If, on the other hand, you take the old people out of the process and then pay them pensions, you have to pay them Pensions are funded through some form of tax or levy. And then everyone's income decreases and the demand of the whole economy decreases. "

Gunnel Ginsburg, the 68-year-old nurse, has gradually reduced her hours and is doing more and more desk work for the Nursing Association. Lifting patients and working shifts was a bother for her. But her employer has adjusted to it. The staff is made up of different age groups. The younger ones contribute to the teamwork with their physical strength and new ideas. The elderly, on the other hand, have more work and life experience, as Gunnel Ginsburg reports:

"You only learn a lot if you actually work as a nurse and not in theory. You get a feel for when someone is feeling bad. That is sometimes difficult to recognize. When should you really take action or call the doctor? How." do you treat an aggressive patient or a confused person? It's really not that easy. "

Despite the advantages of older workers, Professor Bosch believes that the statutory increase in the retirement age to 67 planned in Germany is wrong. Rather, the later retirement should be done on a voluntary basis and, as in Sweden, be encouraged by financial incentives.

"This avoids that people who do not work until the age of 67 are penalized with pension deductions. I see the problem that those who have the lowest life expectancy, the lowest wages and the most difficult working conditions, leave working prematurely have to retire and still be punished by pension deductions. Unless you create exit opportunities for precisely these groups. And I think that is what it will amount to. "

For every year that Gunnel works after her 65th birthday, she receives around 100 euros more pension. This is not a generous gesture by the Swedish state, but a simple calculation: Gunnel has been paying into the pension fund instead of receiving money for three years. In the coming month, however, she plans to take her well-deserved retirement; with 300 euros more monthly pension.