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Statement on the results of the EU-wide public consultation on pensions


Following the Employment and Social Affairs Ministers' meeting in Brussels, Commissioner Andor presented the first summary of results of the EU-wide Green Paper consultation on how the EU can help to ensure adequate, sustainable and safe pensions for its citizens.

The Commissioner thanked all contributors and speaking to journalists he said: "The results of this wide public debate are helping to shape our work on pensions.  The consultation Paper was clearly not just a statement - it has been echoed in national discussions, helping to encourage and facilitate change. "

He welcomed the broad range of contributions saying: "We received nearly 1,700 responses from across the EU including around 350 from Member State Governments, National Parliaments, business and trade union organisations, civil society and representatives of the pension industry".

The main messages that emerged from the public consultation reflect the Commission's ongoing work, in particular the main lines of the Annual Growth Strategy. Issues raised in the contributions included:

  1. The need for pension reforms to support sustainability of public finances and adequacy of pensions; 
  2. Higher effective retirement ages are necessary;
  3. Pension tracking services are to be encouraged and facilitated so as EU citizens can keep track of all their pension entitlements;
  4. A recognition of the important role for the EU in the policy coordination of pension policies by facilitating surveillance, coordination and mutual learning between the Member States;
  5. EU regulations on occupational pensions should be reviewed to reap the full benefits of the Single Market.

The results also showed that the Green Paper's approach and contribution to the pension debate was broadly welcomed, in particular holistic approach which considers both economic and social aspects of pension reform. The Commissioner stressed: "If pension reforms are to be politically acceptable and economically effective in consolidating budgets and ensuring adequate pensions for the future, they have to take the social and labour market dimensions fully into account".

The Commission is now building on these consultation results and will present a follow up after summer 2011, including possible legislative initiatives at EU level.