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European Union pension systems: Adequate and sustainable?

11-11-2015

One in four European Union (EU) citizens currently depend on their pension income. Younger citizens will one day benefit from pensions too. And they also have an immediate interest, as the taxes and social security contributions working age people pay help support current pensioners. However, pensions are one of the biggest public expenditure items in the EU and as the EU population ages due to lower birth rates and increasing longevity, pension systems have come under increasing pressure. Since ...

One in four European Union (EU) citizens currently depend on their pension income. Younger citizens will one day benefit from pensions too. And they also have an immediate interest, as the taxes and social security contributions working age people pay help support current pensioners. However, pensions are one of the biggest public expenditure items in the EU and as the EU population ages due to lower birth rates and increasing longevity, pension systems have come under increasing pressure. Since its inception in 2011, the European Semester process has resulted in a pension related Country Specific Recommendation (CSR) for a majority of Member States every year. And the 2015 Ageing Report shows there has been good progress in making pension systems more sustainable. Overall EU spending on public pensions as a percentage of GDP is now expected to be similar in 2060 to today’s level, despite demographic ageing. But pensions also need to be adequate and the recently published 2015 Pension Adequacy Report (PAR) gives a comprehensive picture of this both now and in the future. Whilst acceptable levels of adequacy have largely been maintained for current pensioners, this is not the case everywhere or for all groups (e.g. women are at greater risk of inadequate retirement income). And as the impact of pension reforms feeds through, there are some challenges to be faced if the growing numbers of future EU pensioners are to avoid poverty or large falls in their income on retirement.

The silver economy: Opportunities from ageing

15-07-2015

The 'silver economy' covers a host of different but interlinked strands; together these can improve the quality of life and inclusion in society and involvement in economic activity of the ageing population through developing innovative policies, products and services to meet their needs, bringing more growth and jobs. The concept has been emerging over the years, and recently gathered momentum with the European Commission's first paper on the topic. The population in the EU is ageing due to increasing ...

The 'silver economy' covers a host of different but interlinked strands; together these can improve the quality of life and inclusion in society and involvement in economic activity of the ageing population through developing innovative policies, products and services to meet their needs, bringing more growth and jobs. The concept has been emerging over the years, and recently gathered momentum with the European Commission's first paper on the topic. The population in the EU is ageing due to increasing longevity and low birth rates. The Commission's 2015 Ageing Report forecasts that the EU will move from having four working-age (15-64) people for every person aged over 65 years in 2013, to just two by 2060. Whilst population ageing brings challenges, it also presents opportunities. Euromonitor forecasts that the global spending power of those aged 60+ will reach US$15 trillion by 2020. Annual age related government expenditure on older people (currently nearly 20% of GDP in the EU) is forecast to rise by 1.8 percentage points by 2060. The silver economy concept seeks to look holistically at ageing and the opportunities it presents, bearing on the future direction of a broad range of polices such as those on the built environment, 50+ employment, life-long learning and preventative healthcare. Moreover, it seeks to embrace new technologies (e.g. health monitoring, smart homes, driverless vehicles, and care robots) and use them to lower the costs of ageing and improve the lives of older citizens whilst simultaneously helping to boost the economy.

Elderly Women Living Alone: An Update of Their Living Conditions

11-06-2015

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, this study presents recent changes in the living conditions of elderly women living alone with a focus on the effects of recent pension reforms and active ageing policies. The study is largely based on a literature review and a desk analysis of the micro-data and information available at the European level, as well as a qualitative analysis of good practices in active ageing introduced in recent years in six countries selected as representative of European welfare ...

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, this study presents recent changes in the living conditions of elderly women living alone with a focus on the effects of recent pension reforms and active ageing policies. The study is largely based on a literature review and a desk analysis of the micro-data and information available at the European level, as well as a qualitative analysis of good practices in active ageing introduced in recent years in six countries selected as representative of European welfare systems.

Externý autor

Manuela Samek Lodovici, Monica Patrizio, Flavia Pesce and Enrico Roletto

European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (2012): European Implementation Assessment

23-03-2015

2012 was the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations - with objectives set by a Decision of the Parliament and the Council, adopted on 14 September 2011. Following an external evaluation, the European Commission presented its Report on the implementation, results and overall assessment of that European Year on 15 September 2014. This paper looks at the context and concrete initiatives that were undertaken before, during, and after 2012, and also considers the Parliament's ...

2012 was the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations - with objectives set by a Decision of the Parliament and the Council, adopted on 14 September 2011. Following an external evaluation, the European Commission presented its Report on the implementation, results and overall assessment of that European Year on 15 September 2014. This paper looks at the context and concrete initiatives that were undertaken before, during, and after 2012, and also considers the Parliament's input into the Decision establishing the European Year. It comes to the conclusion that the four specific objectives set by the Decision establishing EY2012 were largely met, while the creation of an 'active ageing culture in Europe' (the general objective) might still require further, additional efforts.

European Union pensions policy

09-04-2014

Although Member States have the primary responsibility for designing their pension systems, major demographic changes along with strong economic shocks make the case for updating the European Union's role as regards pensions.The European Commission’s 2012 White Paper on pensions has been fundamental to this process. Describing how the European Union (EU) could best help Member States to provide pensions for an ageing population, it emphasises the need to address the objectives of adequacy, safety ...

Although Member States have the primary responsibility for designing their pension systems, major demographic changes along with strong economic shocks make the case for updating the European Union's role as regards pensions.The European Commission’s 2012 White Paper on pensions has been fundamental to this process. Describing how the European Union (EU) could best help Member States to provide pensions for an ageing population, it emphasises the need to address the objectives of adequacy, safety and sustainability together.

EU health programme for 2014 to 2020

20-02-2014

The EU’s health strategy is largely implemented through multiannual health programmes. A new programme for 2014-20 aims to support and complement Member State (MS) efforts to cope with economic and demographic challenges facing their healthcare systems and help citizens stay healthy longer. A compromise agreement negotiated by Parliament, Council and Commission includes a new title for the programme and a slight increase in budget.

The EU’s health strategy is largely implemented through multiannual health programmes. A new programme for 2014-20 aims to support and complement Member State (MS) efforts to cope with economic and demographic challenges facing their healthcare systems and help citizens stay healthy longer. A compromise agreement negotiated by Parliament, Council and Commission includes a new title for the programme and a slight increase in budget.

Combining the Entry of Young People in the Labour Market with the Retention of Older Workers

30-04-2013

This study provides an overview of the employment situation of young and old workers in the EU Member States, setting out the most recent developments during the crisis and dealing with policies implemented to promote the employment of both groups. The evidence collected shows that there is no competition between young and older workers on the labour market. Structural or general policies to enhance the functioning of EU labour markets are crucial to improving the situation of both groups. However ...

This study provides an overview of the employment situation of young and old workers in the EU Member States, setting out the most recent developments during the crisis and dealing with policies implemented to promote the employment of both groups. The evidence collected shows that there is no competition between young and older workers on the labour market. Structural or general policies to enhance the functioning of EU labour markets are crucial to improving the situation of both groups. However, the responsibility for employment policies still predominantly lies within Member States of the European Union, although initiatives taken at the EU level can provide added value, particularly through stimulating the exchange of experiences and facilitating regional and cross-border mobility throughout the EU.

Externý autor

Eichhorst Werner (IZA), Boeri Tito (frdb), Braga Michela (fdb), De Coen An (IDEA Consult), Galasso Vicenzo (frdb), Gerard Maarten (IDEA Consult), Kendzia Michael (IZA), Mayrhuber Christine (WIFO), Pedersen Jakob Louis (NIRAS), Schmidl Ricarda (IZA) and Steiber Nadia (WIFO)

Pension Systems in the EU – Contingent Liabilities and Assets in the Public and Private Sector

14-10-2011

This study provides an overview of the different pension systems across EU Member States and describes contingent liabilities and assets in the public and private sectors. Therefore, the study assesses both the recent development of the pension schemes and the current stay of play. As a result, good practices are identified and sound features commended which are to be implemented across the EU. Key elements of an adequate and sustainable pension scheme include, for example, a higher labour market ...

This study provides an overview of the different pension systems across EU Member States and describes contingent liabilities and assets in the public and private sectors. Therefore, the study assesses both the recent development of the pension schemes and the current stay of play. As a result, good practices are identified and sound features commended which are to be implemented across the EU. Key elements of an adequate and sustainable pension scheme include, for example, a higher labour market participation rate, most notably amongst older workers, a higher retirement age and an appropriate mix of pension pillars.

Externý autor

Werner EICHHORST (IZA), Maarten GERARD (IDEA Consult), Michael J. KENDZIA (IZA), Christine MAYRHUBER (WIFO), Connie NIELSEN (NIRAS), Gerhard RÜNSTLER (WIFO) and Thomas URL (WIFO)

Occupational Health and Safety Risks for the Most Vulnerable Workers

15-07-2011

Each of the groups of workers studied – women, ageing workers, workers with disabilities, young workers, migrant workers, temporary workers and low-qualified workers – faces specific occupational health and safety risks. While the EU has a strong body of legislation and a comprehensive strategy addressing worker health and safety, further action could be taken to protect vulnerable groups. Options are proposed, drawing on the analysis of needs as well as a review of specific measures implemented ...

Each of the groups of workers studied – women, ageing workers, workers with disabilities, young workers, migrant workers, temporary workers and low-qualified workers – faces specific occupational health and safety risks. While the EU has a strong body of legislation and a comprehensive strategy addressing worker health and safety, further action could be taken to protect vulnerable groups. Options are proposed, drawing on the analysis of needs as well as a review of specific measures implemented in the Member States.

Externý autor

Alice Belin, Tony Zamparutti, Kerina Tull and Guillermo Hernandez (Milieu Ltd, Brussels, Belgium)

New Strategy on Health and Safety at Work 2007-2012 - Compilation of Briefing Notes

15-06-2007

Two briefing notes on the 'New Strategy on Health and Safety at work 2007-2012' focus on the comparability of data and statistics in occupational health and safety, implementation and simplification of OSH directives without reducing the level of protection, targeted measures and whether OSH legislation is applied at global level.

Two briefing notes on the 'New Strategy on Health and Safety at work 2007-2012' focus on the comparability of data and statistics in occupational health and safety, implementation and simplification of OSH directives without reducing the level of protection, targeted measures and whether OSH legislation is applied at global level.

Externý autor

Karl Kuhn (Froendenberg, Germany), Jorma Rantanen (Helsinki, Finlandand) and Jukka Takala (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Bilbao, Spain)

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