Quarter of the Swiss population will be retired by 2030, report finds
A new report by the Swiss government has revealed that a quarter of the population will be in retirement by 2030. The new findings have sparked concern among experts, who fear that Switzerland will be unable to afford its social security services without an increase in the number of births or a rise in immigration from abroad.
2,2 million people will claim their Swiss pension by 2030
According to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), 96.292 people claimed first, second or third pillar pension benefits for the first time in 2022, an increase of 10.000 compared to the year before. Authorities noted that by the end of the decade, 2,2 million residents will be in retirement, meaning around a quarter of the population will not be working.
In layman's terms, the government found that not enough people are working in Switzerland to compensate for the retirement rate. In a statement given to 20 Minuten, the Competence Centre for Demography in Basel noted that between 2023 and 2029, 788.000 people will reach the retirement age of 65, while just 640.000 will turn 20. This leaves a 148.000-worker gap in the workforce, which is set to increase to 321.000 jobs by 2040.
"In addition to a shortage of skilled workers, we now also have a general shortage of workers," noted demographer Manuel Buchmann. Speaking to 20 Minuten, he explained that the sectors most affected by the shortages in the short term will be highly qualified professionals, especially those that require a degree from university like computer scientists and engineers. However, he noted that the problem will spread to less specialised roles by the end of the decade.
Switzerland will struggle to pay for social services in future, say experts
Buchmann argued that Switzerland will soon have to decide how it is going to keep its economy and budget going, as more people start to claim retirement benefits and fewer people contribute to the system through Swiss taxes. He called on international companies to prepare for the problem in advance, in part by inviting more expats and internationals to come to Switzerland on residence permits to fill vacant roles.
However, even this may not be enough, as Buchmann concluded that many of the countries where expats come from have demographic problems of their own. "Because our most important immigration countries are affected by an even more drastic ageing of the population”, solving the problem through migration alone “is not really likely," he said.
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