EU Pension Policy

The European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) has been jointly signed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in November 2017. You can find the text of the Proclamation here. It aims to strengthen the social acquis and to deliver more effective rights to citizens. The EPSR sets out a number of key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labor markets and welfare systems. It serves as a compass for a renewed process of convergence towards better working and living conditions among the Euro Area Member States but is applicable to all Member States wishing to participate.

The Pillar builds upon 20 key principles, structured around three categories:

  • Equal opportunities and access to labour market
  • Fair working conditions
  • Social protection and inclusion

Principle number 15 is about the old age income and pensions: Workers and the self-employed in retirement have the right to a pension commensurate to their contributions and ensuring an adequate income. Women and men shall have equal opportunities to acquire pension rights. Everyone in old age has the right to resources that ensure living in dignity.

PensionsEurope is closely monitoring the development of the EPSR and the legislative and non-legislative follow-up initiatives.

In 2016, PensionsEurope answered to the European Commission consultation on the EPSR. You can find our contribution here.

The European Commission has put demography high on the EU policy agenda. In June 2020, it presented the report on the impact of demographic change setting out the key facts of demographic change and its likely impacts. At the end of January 2021, the Commission published the Green Paper on ageing, which is the first outcome of the 2020 report and its purpose is to launch a broad policy debate to discuss options on how to anticipate and respond to the challenges and opportunities ageing brings.

In April 2021, PensionsEurope submitted a response to the Commission’s Green Paper. In our response, we highlighted that the Green Paper should reflect more on the role that workplace pensions can play to (a) provide people with additional retirement income, (b) keep pension systems sustainable in the long term, and (c) contribute to economic growth in Europe. The Green Paper, the debate that will follow, and the measures that eventually will be considered by the European Commission should include policies and initiatives aimed at facilitating and encouraging participation in workplace pension schemes. Workplace pensions are essential for the adequacy and sustainability of our pension systems. PensionsEurope and its members are strong supporters of multi-pillar pension systems able to provide adequate and sustainable pensions to people in Europe.

You can read our contribution here.


In December 2017, the European Commission adopted the decision of setting up a High-Level Group of Experts on Pensions, an advisory group consisting of three members representing stakeholders in pensions, four academics, the EU level social partners, EIOPA and the European Commission. The expert group was asked to provide policy advice to the EC on matters related to ways of improving the provision, safety through prudential rules, intergenerational balance, adequacy and sustainability of supplementary (occupational and personal) pensions. PensionsEurope Secretary General / CEO Matti Leppälä was part of this group.

Between 2018 and 2019, the HLG worked on an independent report providing analysis and policy advice related to the role of supplementary pensions in contributing to adequacy of old age incomes and the development of their market in the Union. The 10 meetings chaired by a representative of the Commission at Director level led to the adoption of the Final Report of the HLG on Pensions, published in December 2019.

The HLG Report identifies the main challenges affecting the concept and design of supplementary pensions and those related to the EU dimension of supplementary pensions. Moreover, it assesses their contribution to adequate and sustainable retirement incomes, and their role in relation to sustainable finance. The HLG report also provides a set of recommendations addressed to EU institutions, national policy makers, social partners and other stakeholders. 

You can read the PensionsEurope press release here.

PensionsEurope promotes good pensions for the people in Europe in all different shapes and forms, including personal pensions. Personal pensions are long-term savings products that individuals contribute to on a voluntary basis, complementing social security and workplace pensions. Personal pensions can have a role to play in linking long-term savers with long-term investment opportunities, helping to channel savings towards capital markets and benefit investment and growth in the EU.

As part of its work on the CMU, the European Commission has explored ways to increase choices for retirement savings and build an EU market for personal pensions and decided to introduce the PEPP. The pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) is a voluntary personal pension scheme that will possibly complement existing public and occupational pension systems, as well as national personal pension schemes. They are regulated through Regulation 2019/1238, also known as the PEPP Regulation, which entered into application in March 2022. Although there are still not PEPPs on the market, the first ones are expected to see be introduced soon.

PensionsEurope has extensively worked and supported this initiative, cooperating throughout the EU legislative procedure with the EU Institutions and EIOPA to defend the interest of our members.

PensionsEurope welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to assist the EU and Member States in monitoring the adequacy and sustainability of pension systems at macro-level through the development of a pension dashboard. We also support the development of national PTSs and the European Tracking Service project, as we believe that the PTS can be a very powerful tool to make people aware of their financial situation for the old age and can help them to take the right financial decisions.

The PTS is one important element in a retirement system, and it should of course be accompanied by other measures fostering good retirement provisions.

PensionsEurope is also working on the following issues:

- Pension policy in the CEE region

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