This means not only problems for the financing of pensions, but also major challenges for companies. Because these high exit rates mean that a lot of knowledge and experience is leaving companies - and there are also fewer people joining them who could take over their jobs. In the USA, the effect is exacerbated by decades of deindustrialization, because of which fewer and fewer younger people have a sound technical/craft education. In Germany, there has been no deindustrialization on a U.S. scale, but the growing proportion of university graduates in younger cohorts is having a similar effect: a shortage of technically trained people, who are indispensable in the service sector.
The generation that is about to retire has experienced far-reaching development in many areas during their working lives: For example, while mechanically controlled systems were the norm in special machine construction in the sixties, pneumatic and hydraulic actuators with increasingly complex controls became widespread in the decades that followed, first analog-electrically, then electronically and finally controlled by computers.
This generation thus had the chance to gradually expand its experience with the new technologies and to grow along with the increasing complexity, so to speak. Although plants are much easier to operate nowadays thanks to intelligent user interfaces, it takes even more understanding and experience to solve problems if something goes wrong. In the past, understanding what was happening was easy because it was mostly physical processes that could be measured and observed. Today, software is almost always involved, which can have a variety of unpredictable side effects.