Low-skilled worker life expectancy is five years less than for graduates

Pensioners on a bench
Photo: Depositphotos.com
Pensioners on a bench
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Today’s new pensioners with a college or university degree will live an average of four to five years longer than those with vocational qualifications, the national statistics agency CBS said on Friday.

Men with a degree are now expected to enjoy 22 years of retirement, while men with few qualifications will live a further 17 years, the CBS said. In addition, the life expectancy gap for men has grown a full year since the period 2011 to 2014. For women, the gap remains four years.

Lifestyle is likely to be behind the difference, the CBS said. ‘People with a lower level of education are more likely to be overweight and to smoke,’ a spokesman told news agency ANP. They are also more likely to have hearing, eyesight and muscle problems.

In addition, people with degrees retire, on average, eight months before the low-skilled – meaning they enjoy both a corporate and state pension for longer.

The FNV trade union federation, which is campaigning for early retirement to be incorporated in the current proposals to reform the pension system, said the new figures demonstrate the real need for change.

‘The growing difference in life expectancy shows that the union is right to call for the state pension age to be frozen and to scrap the fines for early retirement,’ a spokesman told ANP.

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