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10 Countries With the Youngest Average Retirement Age in the World

Nuture / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Nuture / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Retiring at age 65 or even earlier is a dream for many. But with people living longer and pension funds feeling the strain, retirement ages are rising. There are, however, some places in the world that still have retirement ages that are quite young by U.S. standards.

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Here are the countries with the youngest average retirement ages worldwide, and details about the pensions those workers can expect.

Note that most pension plans are either defined contribution plans or defined benefit plans. In a defined contribution plan, workers are taxed a certain percentage of their earnings to pay for retiree benefits, and those benefits are distributed based on the number of years they’ve worked, their age, and possibly other factors. A defined benefit plan prescribes a certain level of benefits for every retired worker.

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In Indonesia, both men and women can retire at age 57, but the retirement age is rising.

The retirement age in Indonesia will rise to 58 in 2024 and will rise another year every three years until it is 65 in 2043. Private sector workers in Indonesia pay into the state-run social security program, and at retirement, can elect a lump sum payout or a partial lump sum plus periodic payments.


Men and women typically retire at 58 to 60 years old, depending on the sector in which they work. The retirement age for government workers in Kerala was raised to 60 in 2020, and the governments in other states have followed or will follow suit. Central government employees currently retire at age 60.

India’s pension system consists of employee contribution programs and employer managed funds. In order to collect from the Employees’ Pension Scheme, workers must be 58 years old with at least ten years of contributions. The Employees Provident Fund program only requires that workers be 55 years old. These programs cover government workers and those employed by companies with 20 or more employees, which is only about 12% of Indian workers.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, men can retire at 58 years of age. Women in Saudi Arabia are working in increasing numbers and can also retire at 58.

Saudi Arabian workers contribute to a mandatory public pension system, from which they can draw at age 58 with at least 120 months of contributions, or at any age with at least 300 months of contributions. The minimum pension for retirees in Saudi Arabia was raised by 20% in 2023.


The retirement age in China is 60 for men, and 55 for women who work white collar jobs, but 50 for women who work blue collar jobs. Some jobs involving physical labor qualify Chinese workers to retire at age 45 (women) or 55 (men).

Pension: There are two types of pensions in China. The basic pension pays 1% of the average wage for each year of coverage for workers who have contributed for at least 15 years. For the defined contribution pension, workers pay 8% of their wages each year into the individual account system. They get a pension based on their age and national life expectancy.


In Russia, men can retire at age 60, and women can retire at age 55.

The pension system in Russia is strained right now as the population ages. The government plans to raise the retirement age to 65 for men and 60 for women by 2028. However, men who have worked for at least 42 years and women who have worked for at least 37 years can retire early, but they cannot claim their pension until age 60 or 55, respectively. All workers in Russia pay into the social security system, and they must have contributed for at least eight years before claiming a pension.


Men in Turkey can retire at 60 right now, and women can retire at 58. Changes are in store for Turkish retirees, however.

In 2023, Turkey changed its retirement requirements to allow those who first enrolled in the social insurance program by September 8, 1999 to collect a pension when they had a specific number of years of contributions to the program. Men were required to have contributed for at least 25 years and women were required to have contributed for at least 20 years. This was in response to a change in pension laws in 1999 that were enacted with no phase-in. Turkey is gradually raising its retirement age, and by 2044, it will be 65 for both men and women.

South Africa

The age at which South African men and women can receive a pension is 60. The public pension for South Africans is means-tested, meaning that South African citizens can qualify for an ‘older person’s grant’ if they are 60 or older and have limited income and assets. There are also voluntary private pensions that collect contributions from employers and employees.


Men in Colombia can retire at age 62, and women at 57.

There are two pension systems in Colombia, a public pay-as-you-go plan and a private individual plan. Workers can switch between the two systems every five years until 10 years before retirement, but they cannot participate in both plans at the same time. Employees are required to participate in one of the plans.

Costa Rica

Men in Costa Rica can retire at 65 and so can women.

Costa Ricans can receive an old-age pension at 65 as long as they have contributed for at least 300 months (25 years). If they have contributed for at least 180 months (15 years) but less than 300 months, they can get a proportional pension. Costa Ricans also receive a supplementary pension through individual accounts, and voluntary defined contribution personal pensions are also available.


Men can retire at 65 in Austria, and women can retire at 60 currently, although the retirement age for women will gradually increase until it is 65 by 2033. The pension system in Austria is a defined benefit system that workers are entitled to if they paid into it for at least 180 months. Retirees with low earnings levels receive an additional amount to bring them to a minimum level of income.

Remember that, in order to retire and receive a pension in these countries (and most others as well) you must have worked and paid into a retirement system for a certain number of years. So if you’re planning to retire at one of these young ages and collect a pension, you’ll need to start planning early.

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This article originally appeared on 10 Countries With the Youngest Average Retirement Age in the World