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Addressing Europe’s pensions challenge

Europe faces a major challenge in ensuring adequate retirement income for its citizens. Traditional pension systems are coming under significant pressure because the percentage of the population that is retired has increased significantly over recent decades, and this trend will continue for years to come.

This comes at a time when public finances are already stretched. Reforms are, therefore, being introduced in many countries which aim to guarantee the sustainability of state managed pay-as-you-go schemes and this often translates into lower pension benefits.

The challenge is, therefore, to find ways to implement these reforms, while ensuring a certain standard of living for pensioners. Insurance Europe believes that mutually reinforcing pension pillars will become increasingly important in responding to the pension challenge facing Europe.

Europe’s insurance sector also thinks that, if properly carried out, the reforms which are currently being discussed at European level — a review of the institutions for occupational retirement provision directive (IORP II) and the creation of a standardised pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) — have the potential to contribute to the objectives of sustainability of pension systems and adequacy of pension income. This is the subject of the federation’s latest insight briefing, available here.

It was also the topic of debate at an event held by the federation this morning. Speakers at the event included:

  • Nathalie Berger, head of insurance and pensions unit, European Commission.
  • Brian Hayes MEP, IORP II rapporteur for the European Parliament ECON Committee.
  • Justin Wray, head of policy unit, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority.
Published 20 October 2015