BRUSSELS, May 28 (UPI) -- The European retirement age should be raised to avoid smaller pensions and higher contributions in the future, the European Commission says.
The commission also recommended increasing the work week, Financial Times Deutschland said. A continued trend of relatively short hours and early retirement risks a "painful combination of "higher contributions and smaller payouts," officials said.
A report is to be presented to the EU by early summer, the EU Observer said.
Member countries set their own retirement ages. In France, men retire on average at 58.7 years old, while Germany just raised its retirement age from 65 to 67.
The commission said that on average Europeans retire at just over 60. It recommended raising the age so that Europeans do not spend more than one-third of their adult years in retirement.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed raising the retirement age there to 61 or 62. But the issue is a political hot potato, with 400,000 people joining protests Thursday.
Retirement is also causing tension between member states. German politicians criticized Greece for seeking economic assistance while its retirement age is 61 for all workers and lower for those in some fields.