Poll finds two-thirds of male voters in Switzerland want women to retire later

Poll finds two-thirds of male voters in Switzerland want women to retire later

A new poll by 20 minuten and the Tamedia Group has revealed that the next round of Swiss referendums in September has divided the country in more ways than one. While nearly two-thirds of women oppose the plan to raise their retirement age to 65, more than two-thirds of men said they were in favour of the change.

AHV and pension reform on the ballot in Switzerland

On September 25, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in the latest round of referendums. Perhaps the most controversial of the bunch is the two-part plan to reform AHV and the pension system in Switzerland, first by giving the programmes additional funding and increasing VAT, and second by increasing the retirement age of women to equal that of men at 65 years old. Both parts of the plan have to be approved by voters, or neither will be implemented.

The latest poll shows that 58 percent of voters are broadly in favour of greater financial assistance and the tax increase, with 38 percent against it. Polls narrow on the question of raising the retirement age, with 53 percent in favour to 44 against.

Raising retirement age for women rejected by female voters

The proposal is clearly rejected by 51 percent of women surveyed, with an additional 9 percent reporting that they would likely vote no. Only 27 percent of female respondents said they would definitely support the reform. Opponents argue that the law would come at the expense of equality, with 20 minuten noting that women already receive a third less in pension benefits compared to men when they retire from work.

In contrast, 71 percent of men said they were either clearly or largely in favour of raising the retirement age for women. 20 minuten noted that supporters of the reform also argue that, for the sake of equality, women and men should be expected to work the same amount of time as each other.

Speaking to 20 minuten, political scientist Daniel Kübler said he found the result of the poll quite surprising: "It currently looks as if the reform will actually succeed. That would be remarkable, because reforms for old-age pensions have always had extremely difficult times [in polling] in the past,” he noted. “If the population decides that women should work until the age of 65 in the future, that would be a sensation,” he concluded.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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