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Demographic outlook for the European Union 2019

03-06-2019

This paper is the second in a series that EPRS is producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The EU has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter since 1960 – and currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is now beginning to stagnate, before its expected decline from around ...

This paper is the second in a series that EPRS is producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The EU has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter since 1960 – and currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is now beginning to stagnate, before its expected decline from around the middle of the century. With the world population having risen still more substantially and growth continuing, the EU represents a shrinking proportion of this population. The EU population is also ageing dramatically, as life expectancy increases and fertility rates fall below their levels in the past. This has serious implications across a range of areas including the economy, healthcare and pensions. Free movement within the EU and migration from third countries also play an important role in shaping demography in individual Member States and regions. The 'in-focus' section of this year's edition looks at pensions. It highlights that, whilst national reforms have largely successfully addressed issues around the sustainability of pension systems, concerns about the adequacy of pensions, particularly in the future, still remain.

Prudential requirements and supervision of investment firms

23-11-2018

Investment firms play an important role in capital markets, facilitating savings and investment flows across the EU. However, the current EU rules are seen as fragmented, overly complex, inconsistently applied and often a poor fit for the actual risks taken by the various types of investment firms. The Commission has proposed a new regulation on the prudential requirements of investment firms and a new directive on the prudential supervision of investment firms. These proposals update the framework ...

Investment firms play an important role in capital markets, facilitating savings and investment flows across the EU. However, the current EU rules are seen as fragmented, overly complex, inconsistently applied and often a poor fit for the actual risks taken by the various types of investment firms. The Commission has proposed a new regulation on the prudential requirements of investment firms and a new directive on the prudential supervision of investment firms. These proposals update the framework for investment firms, making it more effective and more closely calibrated to the size and nature of the various investment firms and their risks. Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) agreed its report and negotiating mandate on 24 September 2018. Work in Council is ongoing.

Framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP)

21-11-2018

Europe’s population is ageing, due to people living longer and having fewer children, putting pressure on pension systems and leading to reforms to make public pensions more sustainable – and often less generous – in future. To support retirement incomes, the European Commission’s 2012 pensions white paper called for more opportunities for citizens to save in safe and good-value complementary pensions. The proposed framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) aims to encourage the ...

Europe’s population is ageing, due to people living longer and having fewer children, putting pressure on pension systems and leading to reforms to make public pensions more sustainable – and often less generous – in future. To support retirement incomes, the European Commission’s 2012 pensions white paper called for more opportunities for citizens to save in safe and good-value complementary pensions. The proposed framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) aims to encourage the development of personal pensions (that is, voluntary, individually funded pensions) in Europe, to support retirement saving and strengthen the single market for capital by making more funds available for investment. Generally the proposal is considered a welcome extra option to support retirement savings and investment. However differing national pension systems and tax treatments are noted as challenges, although the Commission has also issued a tax recommendation. Council agreed a general approach on 19 June 2018 and the ECON committee voted its report and negotiating mandate on 3 September, hence trilogues have started. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Pan-European pension product

21-03-2018

This European added value assessment, prepared for the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), analyses the added value of a pan-European pension product, in particular from the taxation viewpoint. It presents the issues that led to the PEPP proposal being made and provides a short overview of key stakeholders' opinions and existing studies. Moreover it considers the question of PEPP taxation and the impact of costs on final pensions. The analysis concludes by identifying ...

This European added value assessment, prepared for the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), analyses the added value of a pan-European pension product, in particular from the taxation viewpoint. It presents the issues that led to the PEPP proposal being made and provides a short overview of key stakeholders' opinions and existing studies. Moreover it considers the question of PEPP taxation and the impact of costs on final pensions. The analysis concludes by identifying the potential European added value that could be achieved by means of the PEPP proposal.

Demographic outlook for the European Union

21-12-2017

This paper is the first in an annual series which EPRS will be producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The European Union (EU) has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter in the five and a half decades since 1960 – and it currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is ...

This paper is the first in an annual series which EPRS will be producing on the demographic outlook for the European Union (EU). Demography matters. The economy, labour market, healthcare, pensions, the environment, intergenerational fairness and election results – they are all driven by demography. The European Union (EU) has seen its population grow substantially – by around a quarter in the five and a half decades since 1960 – and it currently stands at over 500 million people. However, it is now beginning to stagnate, before its expected decline from around the middle of the century. With the world population having risen still more substantially and growth continuing, the EU represents a shrinking proportion of the world population. The EU population is also ageing dramatically, as life expectancy increases and fertility rates are lower than in the past. This has serious implications across a range of areas including the economy, healthcare and pensions. Free movement within the EU and migration from third countries also plays an important role in shaping demography in individual Member States and regions. The 'in-focus' section of this analysis looks at health and notes that the data, whilst inconsistent, suggests that people are not necessarily experiencing the extra life years without limitations to their usual activity.

Occupational pensions: Revision of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision Directive (IORP II)

23-01-2017

In 2014, the European Commission proposed a revision (‘IORP II’) of the existing Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive of 2003, which covers certain occupational pension savings. These are overwhelmingly in the United Kingdom (55.9% of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7%). The proposed revision aims to improve the governance, risk management, transparency and information provision of IORPs and help increase cross-border IORP activity. Stakeholders generally welcomed ...

In 2014, the European Commission proposed a revision (‘IORP II’) of the existing Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive of 2003, which covers certain occupational pension savings. These are overwhelmingly in the United Kingdom (55.9% of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7%). The proposed revision aims to improve the governance, risk management, transparency and information provision of IORPs and help increase cross-border IORP activity. Stakeholders generally welcomed the focus of the proposal and the lack of new prudential rules, but felt the revision was overly detailed and prescriptive and did not respect national competences, nor reflect the variety of IORPs and their position as social (not just financial) entities. Following trilogue discussions, the compromise text was adopted at first reading in the European Parliament’s plenary on 24 November, an then adopted by the Council on 8 December. It came into effect on 12 January 2017 and Member States have two years from then to transpose it into national law. This briefing updates an earlier edition, from September 2016: PE 589.800.

Recast occupational pensions directive (IORP II)

15-11-2016

The Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive, from 2003, covers certain occupational pension savings. IORPs hold assets worth €2.5 trillion on behalf of around 75 million Europeans and are found mainly in the United Kingdom (55.9 % of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7 %). Around a further 10 % of IORP assets are in Germany (4.5 %), Italy (2.8 %) and Ireland (2.4 %). The proposed revision (known as IORP II), to be debated during the Parliament's November plenary session ...

The Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive, from 2003, covers certain occupational pension savings. IORPs hold assets worth €2.5 trillion on behalf of around 75 million Europeans and are found mainly in the United Kingdom (55.9 % of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7 %). Around a further 10 % of IORP assets are in Germany (4.5 %), Italy (2.8 %) and Ireland (2.4 %). The proposed revision (known as IORP II), to be debated during the Parliament's November plenary session, aims to improve the governance, risk management, transparency and information provision of IORPs and help increase cross-border IORP activity.

Occupational pensions: Revision of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision Directive (IORP II)

27-09-2016

In 2014, the European Commission proposed a revision (‘IORP II’) of the existing Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive of 2003, which covers certain occupational pension savings. These are overwhelmingly in the United Kingdom (55.9% of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7%). The proposed revision aims to improve the governance, risk management, transparency and information provision of IORPs and help increase cross-border IORP activity, strengthening the single market ...

In 2014, the European Commission proposed a revision (‘IORP II’) of the existing Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive of 2003, which covers certain occupational pension savings. These are overwhelmingly in the United Kingdom (55.9% of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7%). The proposed revision aims to improve the governance, risk management, transparency and information provision of IORPs and help increase cross-border IORP activity, strengthening the single market. The proposal did not include new prudential rules (i.e. capital requirements) for IORPs following a long and controversial debate. Stakeholders generally welcomed the focus of the proposal and the lack of new prudential rules, but felt the revision was overly detailed and prescriptive and did not respect national competences, nor reflect the variety of IORPs and their position as social (not just financial) entities. Trilogue discussions have now concluded and a first-reading plenary vote is expected to take place in November. This briefing updates an earlier version, from March 2016: PE 579.101. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Elderly people and poverty: Current levels and changes since the crisis

06-07-2016

Measuring poverty is complex and a number of indicators are now used to try to give a comprehensive picture. A composite measure – 'at risk of poverty or social exclusion' (AROPE) – is used today to measure progress on the Europe 2020 anti-poverty target. In general, poverty for those aged 65 or older (65+) in the European Union significantly reduced between 2007 and 2014, in contrast to increases in poverty for people aged under 65. Those aged 65+ now have a significantly lower rate of being AROPE ...

Measuring poverty is complex and a number of indicators are now used to try to give a comprehensive picture. A composite measure – 'at risk of poverty or social exclusion' (AROPE) – is used today to measure progress on the Europe 2020 anti-poverty target. In general, poverty for those aged 65 or older (65+) in the European Union significantly reduced between 2007 and 2014, in contrast to increases in poverty for people aged under 65. Those aged 65+ now have a significantly lower rate of being AROPE than younger people (17.8% vs. 25.9% for the EU-28 in 2014). The same applies when looking only at rates of 'severe material deprivation' (a component of the AROPE measure, but one not affected by changes to incomes of people under 65). This shows improvements for those aged 65+ and worsening for under-65 year olds. Those aged 65+ are less at risk of severe material deprivation than younger people (6.2% vs 9.5%, EU-28, 2014). These broad results mask differences between individual Member States, with varying age 65+ poverty levels and improvements seen. Some saw age 65+ poverty increase according to at least one indicator, but increases were generally small, from a low base and not associated with countries particularly hard hit by the crisis. Women aged 65+ have consistently higher AROPE rates (and other poverty indicators) then men across the Member States, though the gap has narrowed somewhat. Women's 65+ AROPE rates reflect their: lower pay and shorter and more interrupted working lives leading to lower pensions (38% lower on average in the European Union according to the Commission's 2015 Pension Adequacy Report); longer lives (and retirements); and increased likelihood of being in a single-person household. People aged 75+ also have higher AROPE rates than those aged 65-74, though the gap has narrowed since 2007.

Public expectations and EU policies - Health and social security

30-06-2016

Almost two thirds of EU citizens would like to see more EU engagement in the areas of health and social security. The EU's main role in these policies is to support and complement the activities of Member States, and it can encourage cooperation and best practice. EU health policy aims to foster good health, protect citizens from health threats and support dynamic health systems. Social policy promotes social cohesion equality as well as solidarity through adequate, accessible and financially sustainable ...

Almost two thirds of EU citizens would like to see more EU engagement in the areas of health and social security. The EU's main role in these policies is to support and complement the activities of Member States, and it can encourage cooperation and best practice. EU health policy aims to foster good health, protect citizens from health threats and support dynamic health systems. Social policy promotes social cohesion equality as well as solidarity through adequate, accessible and financially sustainable social protection systems and social inclusion policies. The EU encourages national pension reforms to ensure they are both adequate and sustainable. In the EU budget, the Health Programme 2014-2020 is the only programme specifically created for this policy area, but other programmes contribute in part to health objectives. EU spending on social security is tied to labour market measures.

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