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vitalba paesano
07-03-09, 16:52
Dear friends speaking english, I think that you can be interested to this argument. Do you?
How does the EU improve pension systems in Europe?
The EU seeks to assist Member States in developing their pension systems towards the shared goal of providing adequate and sustainable pensions for all, through its Open Method of Coordination (OMC). The Commission's role in this is to highlight issues of common concern across Europe and to assist and encourage the sharing of data and best practice between countries. A major output of this process is the annual Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion (see IP/09/360 (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/360&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en) and MEMO/09/96 (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/96&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en)).
There are many other ad hoc outputs such as the October 2008 report "Privately managed funded pension provision and their contribution to adequate and sustainable pensions" (IP/08/1551 (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/08/1551&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en)). The report points out variations between Member States in approaches to private pension provision and the need to ensure that where funded private provision exists, its coverage and adequacy match its intended role.
Although pensions are primarily the responsibility of Member States, there is also some EU level framework legislation, notably a directive on occupational pensions. This directive[1] (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/99&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en#fn1#fn1), whilst leaving the detailed rules to Member States, establishes prudential standards for occupational pension schemes. In addition, the Insolvency Directive provides protection in the case of insolvency of a company which sponsors an occupational pension scheme.

vitalba paesano
07-03-09, 16:55
What impact is the financial crisis having on pension schemes in the EU?
Pensions are not immune from the financial crisis. But the long term nature of pensions gives some natural protection. It is important to distinguish between the different types of pension schemes used as the precise impact will depend on the specific mix of schemes in place in any particular Member State.

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pensions are statutory state schemes largely paid from current contributions of workers and remain important in all Member States. A serious economic downturn and larger national debt may increase the need for policy adjustments to secure the long term sustainability of such schemes in some countries. But in the shorter term, people will get the pension they expect and any adjustments for the longer term can be gradually phased in.
In general, funded pensions will see more direct impacts from their investments falling in value. Defined Benefit (DB) occupational pension schemes take on the investment risk, so again people in general will get the pension they expect. Going forward there will be challenges as funded DB pension schemes, in deficit as a result of falls in investments, seek to restore their funding balance. Impacts on individuals may come from formalised or ad hoc adjustments to indexation or contributions and the crisis may also accelerate the long term trend for DB schemes to close to new members or even accruals to control costs. Beyond this we cannot completely rule out more serious impacts, though the Insolvency Directive and measures Member States have put in place provides a further layer of protection.
Defined Contribution (DC) pension schemes leave the investment risk entirely with the scheme member so the impact will be felt directly. But for those some way from retirement, there is time for investments to recover. For those close to retirement they may nonetheless be protected for instance in some occupational schemes in countries such as the UK by being in funds which operate so-called 'lifestyle' or 'lifecycle' investment strategies. These take most investment risk when the scheme member is young and gradually move to safer, less volatile investments like cash and bonds as retirement approaches. But those close to retirement and not in lifestyle funds who are relying heavily on DC schemes in their overall pension income will face less well paid or later retirements. But this is an atypical scenario for most European citizens, as DC schemes are usually a small or negligible element of overall retirement income for most people retiring today.
For the future, DC pensions are expected to play a bigger role in overall pension income, notably in a number of the new Member States where statutory funded DC pensions have been set up in recent years. However, the financial crisis has led to some Member States looking again at some aspects of these systems.

Giovanna Bianchi
09-03-09, 11:26
Very Interesting, dear Vitalba. I think that in Europeall women have to founf in their job same money, same satisfacion, same happyness. Like mens. Giovanna