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EU launches debate on future of pensions - 07/07/2010

Pension systems are under pressure from population ageing and the economic crisis. New EU report presents policy options and invites feedback.

Currently in the EU there are four working-age people (15-64) for every person 65 or over. By 2060, there will be only two. For EU governments, the shrinking working-age population poses a double challenge: less revenue for public pensions and more retired people to support.

The economic crisis has added to the pressure, straining public finances and eroding the value of many private retirement funds. 73% of Europeans now expect to receive lower pensions, to work longer or to have to save more. 54% are worried that they will be poor in old age.

In a paper published today, the commission explores ways to safeguard pension systems. The proposals include encouraging people to stay in the job market and to take advantage of job opportunities in other EU countries. Other options up for debate: opening up the European market to more types of pension plans and helping people make informed choices about their retirement income.

The public is invited to comment on the questions raised in the paper. The deadline for responding is 15 November.

More on the future of pensions in the EU

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