Pension systems are the main source of income for about a quarter of the population, providing good protection against poverty to the majority of older Europeans. However, their ability to deliver adequate social protection is challenged by demographic aging, as well as the poor employment situation in many Member States.
Pensions systems are of such importance for the well-being Europeans and the sustainability of public finances that they are now being regarded more and more as a matter of common concern in the EU. The failure of one country to reform its pension system can have serious repercussions on other Member States.
The Commission has set out in a White Paper how Member States can ensure adequate, safe and sustainable pensions in the future and what the EU can do to support them in this endeavour, focusing in particular on the need to enable and encourage people to stay in work longer and to save more for their retirement through supplementary pension schemes.
One important policy goal of the EU is to ensure that people are not prevented from acquiring adequate pension rights when they exercise their right to free movement. Social security coordination ensures that people will not lose their statutory pension entitlements when they move to another EU country. In addition, the Commission has proposed legislation to ensure that mobile workers are also not at a disadvantage with regard to the acquisition and preservation of occupational pension rights.