At present, the average German retires at the age of 61. Though that represents a 20-year high, plans to raise the retirement age to 67 by 2030 are likely to prove a challenge.
According to a survey of 1,000 people carried out by market research group GfK in association with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, 87 percent of Germans would prefer to retire before they hit 65.
If money weren't an issue, 53 percent would prefer to retire before the age of 60. However, just 10 percent said they would choose to retire before the age of 49.
“Among Germans, enjoying work is quite pronounced,” Klaus Hilbinger, who headed the study. told the Rheinische Post.
However, the issue is for how long Germans continue to enjoy working. Just 7 percent said they were willing to work until the age of 67.
Some are warning that shortages in certain branches require even more drastic measures. Otto Kentzler, president of Germany's Central Association of Small Crafts (ZDH), is advocating increasing the retirement age to 70 to deal with skills shortages.
“Many older people are fit for work,” he told news magazine Focus.
“Even if they only work half days, their experience can help us,” he said.
Some businesses are reportedly already turning down orders because of a shortage of skilled staff.