EUROPE – The EU has proposed a union-wide effort to ensure that pensions offer a sustained source of income to the retired and disabled.

The effort comes in response to a proposal put forward by EU employment and social affairs commissioner, Anna Diamantopoulou, who comments : “All member states are in the same boat. Adequate and reliable pensions are a key part in people’s planning for old age. But pensions systems in the EU are in desperate need of reform.”

There are three main objectives in the proposal:
Adequacy of pensions. Pension systems need to allow a satisfactory standard of living post retirement and should prevent social exclusion.

Financial sustainability. The EU Commission would like to see employment levels increased and public debt reduced. The safety of funds could also be ensured by high prudential standards for private pension schemes.

Adaptation of pensions to a changing society. Pension schemes need to be compatible and flexible within a modern labour market.