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Pension systems in Europe

Editor : Fondation Robert Schuman
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Whilst the German coalition government has decided to increase retirement age to 67 and in the United Kingdom there is talk of a retirement age of 69, the 32nd issue in the “notes” collection from the Robert Schuman Foundation, entitled “Pension systems in Europe”, contains a comparative study of existing regimes and of reforms already implemented or planned in the 25 member States of the European Union.

Although traditionally distribution pension regimes are compared to pension funds, there are nevertheless as many national pension systems as there are States and, within each of them, a multitude of different individual situations.

A comparison of the situation in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, for example, highlights the original solutions found by Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands.

The European Union, with limited skills in this regard, has implemented an Open Method of Coordination (OMC). This encourages States to draw inspiration from action undertaken in other countries within the Union. Also, financial implications are such that their incidence on the budgets of member States is examined by the Commission within the context of the stability and growth Pact.

The continued lengthening of life expectancy and a considerable fall in the birth rate over several decades are both factors that make reforms necessary. These must meet two major requirements: enable older people to live decently, in accordance with their legitimate aspirations and enable younger people to avoid having to worry about their future and devote most of their income to preparing it.
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Alain Roulleau
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