Eastern European men are retiring earlier than EU counterparts.

They can claim their state pension two-and-a-half years earlier than their Western counterparts. The difference for women is even greater, some five years. In Eastern Europe the average state pension age is 62 for men and 59 for women, compared to 65 and 63 in Western Europe.

• For a copy of the European Retirement Age Research contact Lydia Ruffles at Mercer HR Consulting on 020 7963 3513.