New York Times: Europe Tries to Handle Political Fallout of Pension Cuts
FRANKFURT — Social Security is known as the “third rail” of American politics, and fiddling with retirement benefits can prove politically fatal in Europe too. Yet, in recent months and years some Europeans have tried to defuse the time bomb posed by millions of retirees receiving government benefits.
Italy gradually raised the retirement age to 59. France increased the tenure requirement for government workers to receive full pension benefits to 40 years of service. Germany curtailed annual government pension increases and raised the retirement age by two years, to 67.
But inflation and a squeeze on living standards for older workers are fueling a backlash, leading some governments to reconsider — or even suspend — approved reforms....