Work longer, die younger: Higher pension ages and earlier death for men

Editor’s note: The following article was originally published on

In many countries around the world, the state retirement age is higher for men; as a result, men often only live to see half the years of retirement women do. One of the major male discriminations around the world is the issue of higher pension ages- in many countries, the state pension age where a person can retire and collect a government pension is higher for men.

This is of course despite the fact that men have shorter life expectancies in nearly every country in the world. As a result, men often have only half the years in retirement to enjoy. I’ve selected a few countries to highlight this difference, bit of course there are many more. I can imagine that if the genders were reversed, it would be considered a gender inequality and social issue, but since men are the ones adversely affected, it’s ignored.


  • Male life expectancy: 79
  • Male pension age: 65
  • Years in retirement: 14
  • Female life expectancy: 83.9
  • Female pension age: 60
  • Years in retirement: 23.9

Difference in retirement years: 9.9

So in Austria, women enjoy nearly 10 years longer in retirement. Once again, a country considered very gender-equal and pro-feminist is an example of a country with active male discrimination.


  • Male life expectancy: 73.6
  • Male pension age: 65.58
  • Years in retirement: 8.02
  • Female life expectancy: 81.3
  • Female pension age: 60.58
  • Years in retirement: 20.72

Difference in retirement years: 12.7

In Poland, women have more than double the years in retirement, more than 250% longer.


  • Male life expectancy: 74.7
  • Male pension age: 65
  • Years in retirement: 9.7
  • Female life expectancy: 81.2
  • Female pension age: 61.75
  • Years in retirement: 19.45

Difference in retirement years: 9.75

An almost 10 year gap in Crotia, where women enjoy a little more than double the years in retirement, enjoying just under 20 to men’s just under 10.


  • Male life expectancy: 76.9
  • Male pension age: 65
  • Years in retirement: 11.9
  • Female life expectancy: 81.4
  • Female pension age: 60
  • Years in retirement: 21.4

Difference in retirement years: 9.5

An almost 10 year difference, women enjoy nearly double the time in retirement in Cuba.


  • Male life expectancy: 71.21
  • Male pension age: 60
  • Years in retirement: 11.21
  • Female life expectancy: 80.58
  • Female pension age: 60
  • Years in retirement: 20.58

Difference in retirement years: 9.37

Another example of an almost 10 year difference, where men enjoy only about half of the time in retirement.


  • Male life expectancy: 70.37
  • Male pension age: 60
  • Years in retirement: 10.37
  • Female life expectancy: 78.61
  • Female pension age: 55
  • Years in retirement: 23.61

Difference in retirement years: 23.24

More than double the years in retirement. 23 years and 10 years are two completely different retirements.


  • Male life expectancy: 76.71
  • Male pension age: 65
  • Years in retirement: 11.71
  • Female life expectancy: 81.74
  • Female pension age: 60
  • Years in retirement: 21.74

Difference in retirement years: 10.03

Another example of an entire decade difference.

In addition to age qualifications, many countries have a “years worked” rule for eligibility, where a person must work for a certain number of years to qualify.

This difference often leads to older men being homeless and on the streets. In the UK for example, men must work for 44 years, compared to 39 years for women. Here’s the government website. Note the chart on “qualifying years”, I made a screenshot here. So, imagine a man turns 65, but faced a few years of unemployment. Maybe he was injured or disabled, and is now too old to work, but doesn’t have the 44 years…say he only has 42. That 42 would be enough if he was a woman, but as a man, he wouldn’t qualify. This situation has lead to numerous elderly men on the streets of the UK. It’s a blatant legal double standard and discrimination. It’s interesting to note that feminists in the UK protested against equal pension ages, claiming that it would be in inequality.

The list goes on and on in every continent, as you can see from the retirement age map, many countries have higher pension ages for men. This trend is something that goes pretty much entirely ignored. I can’t help but think that if the genders were reversed, it would be considered a massive social issue, and cited as an example of male privilege. To me, this is a pretty major disparity and a pretty major difference in one’s life.

Consider that on top of higher pension ages, many of these countries also practice male only conscription, where men must join the military or perform civil service for less than minimum wage for a set period, usually 1-3 years.

*This article was first posted on the new Men Are Human blog. Make sure and visit their Discord page dedicated to discussing men’s issues.

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