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Germany 'third best place to grow old'

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Germany 'third best place to grow old'
Photo: DPA
15:27 CEST+02:00
Germany is the third best place in the world to be a pensioner, according to a study released on Tuesday examining the best and worst countries to grow old in.

Coming in behind Sweden in first place and Norway in second, Germany bagged third place in the Global AgeWatch Index from NGO HelpAge International.

In the index, Germany was ranked highly for its health service, employment and environment. But on the fourth measure, income security, it was given its lowest score.

The authors of the report warned pensions provision was one area of concern. “Pension reforms in 2001 and 2004 have led to reduced pensions, a trend which will continue," it said. "The need for additional private provisions in old age has also increased."

Germany also has an old age poverty rate of just under 10 percent, meaning one in ten pensioners live off less than half of the median national income.

But of those surveyed aged over 50, 92 percent said they had friends or relatives they could rely on when in trouble and 73 percent said they felt safe walking alone at night in their neighbourhood.

The report added: “Employment rates of those between 55 and 64 have been low in the past but are increasing as a result of government policies and programmes and corporate sector initiatives. Retirement age is gradually increasing to 67.

However, this is seen by many as a result of economic pressure, not an opportunity.”

The researchers stressed that their data did not take into account economic, gender, social and other inequalities in any of the 91 societies that were included in the overview. Afghanistan came bottom in the rankings.

Tom Bristow

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