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Germany's FDP Pushes for Flexible Retirement Age in Pension Reform

Balanced scale with clock and coins representing flexible retirement age and pension reform in Germany.

Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP) has proposed a significant change to the country's pension system, advocating for a flexible retirement age. This move aims to allow individuals the option to work longer if they choose, drawing inspiration from Sweden's model.

Key Takeaways

FDP's Proposal for Flexible Retirement Age

Christian Dürr, head of the FDP's parliamentary group, emphasized the benefits of allowing people to work beyond the traditional retirement age. In an interview with Bild Zeitung, Dürr stated, “If you want to work longer, it’s worth it. In the context of this reform, we should also decide to make retirement age more flexible so that people can voluntarily work longer.”

The FDP is looking to Sweden as a model for this transition. In Sweden, employees can start withdrawing pensions from the age of 63, and the retirement age is linked to life expectancy. Dürr highlighted the flexibility in Sweden's system, noting that it does not enforce a rigid retirement age of 65 or 67.

Current Pension Reform Package

The German government has introduced the reform package Rentenpaket II, which aims to keep pension levels stable at 48% beyond 2025 until 2039. This package seeks to dampen the increase in contributions and public subsidies to the first pillar pension system through the generational capital equity fund.

The FDP's proposal includes the introduction of individual accounts for contributions to the first pillar pension system, making it similar to the Swedish premium pension model. The generational capital equity fund will invest public funds to slow down the contribution rate increase in the first pillar.

Opposition from Coalition Partners

Despite the FDP's push for a more flexible retirement age, coalition partners Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens have rejected the possibility of rewriting the reform. FDP’s member of parliament Johannes Vogel acknowledged that while the pension package is a step in the right direction, it is not ambitious enough to meet the goals agreed upon in the coalition agreement. Vogel advocates for a “real equity pension” and an exit from the “Rente mit 63” option, which allows long-insured people to retire at 63.


The proposal by Germany's FDP to introduce a flexible retirement age aims to provide individuals with more control over their retirement decisions. By looking to Sweden's model, the FDP hopes to create a more adaptable and sustainable pension system. However, the opposition from coalition partners indicates that achieving consensus on this issue will be challenging.