In Switzerland, the official state pension age is 65 for men and 64 for women. Government plans to make the retirement age 65 for both men and women have met with resistance from groups fighting against gender discrimination in Switzerland.
The change would not affect women about to retire, and those born between 1960 and 1968 would receive some extra compensatory pension payments.
Groups against the move argue that the extra year of state pension women currently get helps to make up for other inequalities they face and reduces poverty. To oppose the change a referendum against the reform is being organised and could take place as early as the second quarter of 2022.
However, as groups defending women’s rights resoundingly publicly oppose the plan some women in favour of it feel they are not being heard. This week, a group of female politicians voiced support for the plan to align the official retirement age, reported RTS.
We always put all women in the same basket, said Marianne Maret (PDC/CVP), but not all men. To an extent we have been taken hostage by the initiative against pension reform. This reform must happen. Compensation has been included in the plan and we must also think about future generations. It is important that all women make their own independent decision on the changes that are not so catastrophic for women, said Maret. Lucie Rochat (UDC/SVP) said that these women must not forget that they speak for themselves and cannot pretend to speak for all Swiss women.
Those opposed to the change in retirement age say they are fighting to prevent poverty. We still see women with less in retirement and believe our demands are legitimate in this regard, said Martine Docourt (PS/SP).
When the vote eventually happens all eyes are likely to be on how women voted.