Paolo Soro

Pensions in the EU

Commission report recognises efforts of Member States to ensure adequate pensions, but more needs to be done.

The 2018 Pensions Adequacy Report, published today, analyses how current and future pensions help prevent old-age poverty and maintain the income of men and women for the duration of their retirement.

Today, there are 1.9 million fewer older Europeans at risk of poverty or social exclusion than a decade ago, while the number of older workers in employment has increased by 4.1 million in the last three years alone.

Despite these improvements in the situation of Europe's pensioners, there is no room for complacency.

According to the report, Member States have put measures to safeguard adequacy of pensions more prominently at the heart of their policy efforts, in particular for low-income pensions, but more needs to be done.

To ensure the adequacy and sustainability of current and future pensions, pension systems need to promote longer working lives, in accordance with continuously increasing life expectancy.

This can be done by encouraging life-long learning, providing a safe and healthy work environment, adjusting pensionable ages, rewarding later retirement, and discouraging early exit.

Flexible working options, including the possibility to combine pension with income from work, and tax incentives promoting later retirement are becoming increasingly widespread and will continue to be important.

Member States should also take further steps to close the gender gap in pensions, by putting in place equal opportunity policies targeted at women and men of working age, for instance, promoting the work-life balance and equal distribution of caring responsibilities, addressing labour market participation, work intensity and career breaks.

In particular, pension policies should adequately protect care-related breaks. In line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Commission aims at supporting Member States in these efforts, for instance with its proposal to create a better balance between private life and professional career for working parents and carers.

It is also important to continue to extend pension coverage to people in non-standard or self-employment, and to promote supplementary pension saving.

In this vein, and also under the banner of the Pillar of Social Rights, the Commission has recently put forward a proposal for a Recommendation on access to social protection.

Source: EU Commission News

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