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EU sets out plans for adequate, safe and sustainable pensions

16/02/2012

Pensions

The European Commission has published a White Paper on adequate, safe and sustainable pensions.

It looks at how the EU and the Member States can work to tackle the major challenges that confront our pension systems. It puts forward a range of initiatives to help create the right conditions so that those who are able can continue working - leading to a better balance between time in work and time in retirement; to ensure people who move to another country can keep their pension rights; to help people save more and ensure that pension promises are kept and people get what they expect in retirement.

Coinciding with the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, the White Paper builds on the results of a wide consultation, launched in July 2010. It cuts across different policy areas and is fully in line with the Commission's 2012 Annual Growth Survey. The measures at European level will support and complement national pension reforms.

The White Paper proposes, in particular, to:

  • Create better opportunities for older workers by calling on the social partners to adapt work place and labour market practices and by using the European Social Fund to bring older workers into work;
  • Develop complementary private retirement schemes by encouraging social partners to develop such schemes and encouraging Member States to optimise tax and other incentives;
  • Enhance the safety of supplementary pension schemes, including through a revision of the directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) and better information for consumers;
  • Make supplementary pensions compatible with mobility, through legislation protecting the pension rights of mobile workers and by promoting the establishment of pension tracking services across the EU;
  • Encourage Member States to promote longer working lives, by linking retirement age with life expectancy, restricting access to early retirement and closing the pension gap between men and women;
  • Continue to monitor the adequacy, sustainability and safety of pensions and support pension reforms in the Member States.

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