One more year for women in Switzerland before retirement. The Swiss narrowly voted in favor of raising the retirement age for women to 65, according to projections published by the gsf.bern institute and other media. According to projections published shortly before 1 p.m., the yes wins at 51%.
On the other hand, another popular initiative scrutinized abroad, which tried to ban intensive farming, was largely rejected, with 63% of the votes against.
After two failed attempts in 2004 and 2017, Bern should therefore collect enough votes to “stabilize” the Swiss old-age insurance system, which is under enormous pressure as life expectancy increases and the baby-boomer generation reaches the age of leaving working life.
Men already at 65
The most controversial part of the reform requires that, like men, women work until they are 65, before they can claim a full pension. A year older than now.
Parliament approved key pension reform measures last year, which also include a VAT hike (passed to 56% on Sunday), but left-wing parties and unions have denounced a reform “on the backs of the women” and forced the referendum.
Opponents of the reform had pointed to the wage discrimination that continues to plague women and believe it is unfair to raise the retirement age for them without first addressing these inequalities. In 2020, women in Switzerland received on average almost 35% lower pensions than their male counterparts, according to the Swiss Ministry of Economy.
Yes to intensive farming
The proposal to ban intensive farming, which would have essentially eradicated industrial farms in a country which is still very rural even if agriculture weighs relatively little in the national wealth, was rejected by a final vote. The Swiss felt that the welfare of farm animals was already respected in the Alpine country.
The government, parliament and representative herders’ organizations were strongly opposed to the initiative.
According to current laws, farms cannot keep more than 1,500 fattening pigs, 27,000 broilers or 300 calves, which excludes the gigantic factory farms found in other countries.
Bern had also warned that these new rules would lead to a significant increase in prices, while the import clause could have an impact on relations with trading partners.