“I’m old, so what? “: France 2 explores the Danish retirement


In Denmark, where retirement at age 67 was passed unanimously in 2006, 23% of seniors want to work beyond that.


For four seasons, “We, the Europeans”, the magazine devoted to the European Union and its 500 million inhabitants, has been highlighting, each week, the original, innovative solutions devised by a member country to meet the current issues. Before debating on set, in a second part, with guests about how they can – or cannot – inspire France.

The subject is always a little provocative. So Spain, the male of tomorrow (in replay on France.tv) teaches us that Spain is the European country which has made the most progress, in thirty years, in the fight against gender inequalities. Which may seem counter-intuitive. With, beyond that, the systematic desire to be positive.

Also the presenter Eléonore Gay appears smiling and full of energy, this evening, to launch the report of the day on retirement. A subject that divides in France, but not in Denmark, where the extension of the retirement age to 67 years was voted unanimously in 2006. “It’s a Danish specificity”specifies the comment, before going to meet seniors who have chosen to work… after 67 years – they are 23% in this case.

“It’s for fun”

Starting with Flemming, 78, a part-time supermarket worker since retiring as a doctor. “It’s not for the money, it’s for fun” he assures us – a point of view largely shared by the interviewees. Daisy is an exception: at 73, she works for money. From 3 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., six days a week, she distributes newspapers, with her dog, for 950 euros gross per month. And since that’s not enough, she lends a hand, five o’clock on Wednesdays, in a canteen…

The French viewer is not at the end of his surprises. In Denmark, where 80% of employees are union members, the unions approved the 2006 pension reform, which indexes the legal retirement age to life expectancy, with revision every five years. And, for once, there is concern, and some are considering a ceiling age of 68.

Another case, Tira, 63, who has been looking for a job since she was “fire” for illness. “The law in Denmark allows dismissal if you are sick for 120 days”, she says. She is bored alone at home, but cannot find a job. This poses another problem in Denmark, that of discrimination against seniors in hiring.

Sitting at her kitchen table in front of a coffee and the newspaper, after completing her rounds, Daisy wonders: “But what are you doing at 62 retired? In France, I’ve seen men playing boules, sitting in cafes, going to the bakery, preparing food… And there you go, they don’t do anything else! It’s very boring, I can’t imagine such a life. » The debate that will follow this report should provide some answers.

I’m old, so what?, report by Caroline Sinz and Loïc Houeix (Fr., 2023, 27 min). Rebroadcast on Sunday April 2 on France 3 at 10:35 a.m.


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