While America's President shrinks from facing the demographic catastrophe lurking a decade or two down the road for Social Security, Medicare, and public pensions, there is evidence in Germany that such a debacle might be avoided — and a glimmer of hope in France. Last year French President Nicolas Sarkozy raised the retirement age in his country from 60 to 62 — for which he endured weeks of demonstrations and a lessening of his popularity.
Now his Prime Minister, François Fillon (photo), has suggested that France should place its retirement policy in line with that of Germany, which has voted to increase the retirement age to 67. (That is a year higher than the full Social Security retirement age for Americans born from 1943-1954.) Fillon touched on that subject during a September 22 speech to business leaders in Paris, stressing that in areas of fiscal impact such as retirement age, France needed to dovetail its policies with Germany, the largest economy in the European Union.
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