EUROPE - Further pension reforms are needed in EU countries according to Lásló Andor, the European Union's Commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion.

Speaking to several hundred delegates at the European Commission's conference for the Green Paper on Pensions today, Andor said it was advisable for the EU to work together under a system of "proper social dialogue", with subjects such as poverty avoidance for poorer retirees needing to be addressed.

The commissioner referred to the introduction of pension rights for people bringing up children or acting as carers.

The Belgian pensions minister, Michel Daerden, called for best practice to be applied to pension statistics. Systems across the EU should be compared and assessed, he said.

Nicholas Barr, professor of public economics at the London School of Economics, noted that the current pension system evolved from social conditions in the 1950s, explaining the somewhat dated current system.