Germany enacted Friday a hike in its retirement age from 65 to 67, with the Bundesrat upper house putting its seal on the legislation which aims to head off a crisis in ageing German society.
With Germans living longer, there are no longer enough active workers in the workforce to fund pensions for the older generation, so the line between the two groups is be gradually moved between 2012 and 2029.
Labour groups have campaigned against the change, accusing the government of robbing workers and plunging unemployable people in their 60s into poverty, because they must wait longer for pensions.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has left in place provisions that will allow workers to opt for a lower rate of pension till they die if they retire early. Her Christian Democrat and Social Democrat supporters earlier voted the bill through the Bundestag lower house.