First steps taken towards reducing the gender pension gap
The Commission has published an independent experts' report on the current situation of gender pension differences in the EU, building on its pioneering report in this field in 2013. The Commission's work on gender pension gap has been instrumental in paving the way to the adoption of the first ever Council Conclusions on this issue today, helping to shape future policy.
According to the report, the gender pension gap in the EU remains very wide, with women on average receiving pensions that are 40% lower than men's. The gender pension gap varies greatly from country to country, ranging from a 4% to a 46% difference in pensions between men and women.
This trend is leading to a number of women facing unexpected constraints and a loss of independence when entering retirement.
The gender gap in pay, employment and working hours still remains a large contributor to the existing pension gap between men and women. Some pension systems have tried to introduce mitigating measures such as care credits or citizens' pensions, but pension systems are not neutral, with some adding further inequalities and disadvantages.
The Conclusions adopted at the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council lay out the next steps which are necessary to help fight this trend including; improving monitoring the gender gap in pension, understanding its causes and effects, and establishing a comprehensive set of preventative and mitigating measures, which sufficiently take into account a women's full life course.
Reducing the gender pension gap is a crucial part of ensuring economic independence for women, throughout their lives; a building block towards greater gender equality in the EU.