Norway’s centre-left government and opposition parties reached a compromise on pension reforms meant to encourage elderly workers to stay in employment for longer and make pensions fair and sustainable.

Under the reformed system, all of a wage-earner’s income will count towards future pensions, a change intended to remove a disadvantage to part-time workers who often accrue no pension benefits beyond the minimum pension granted by the state. Prime minister Stoltenberg said that was a problem that particularly affected women. The new system is also intended to let workers approaching retirement age opt for part-time employment, officials said.

Norway, which is the world’s fifth biggest oil exporter, has saved the nation’s oil wealth in a $300 billion Government Pension Fund which invests oil and gas revenues in foreign stocks and bonds. Known commonly as the «oil fund», it is currently worth about $64,000 per inhabitant in Norway which has a population of 4.68 million. That is a cushion few countries enjoy but pension costs are still seen as a big challenge for state finances in the future. (Via Reuters News).