People are living longer, working longer and pension levels are falling. A private
old-age pension in
addition to a statutory
pension seems to be an absolutely must for sufficient
financial provision in old age.
But how many people in Europe are already doing this? What do they
need to take this step?
Insurance Europe is the European insurance and reinsurance federation. Through its 37
members of national insurance associations, Insurance Europe represents all types of insurance and reinsurance funds.
The key findings from the survey of more
than 10,000 people across 10 EU countries are as follows:
- 43% of those surveyed are not saving
privately for retirement. Most of them recognise the need to do
this, but many cannot
afford to do so.
those who are saving
privately for retirement, security is the most important priority for their investment, followed by flexibility in making contributions and the possibility of leaving savings to
- Where there were no monetary
projections, almost half of the respondents wanted an annuity, while 30%
preferred flexible payments;
only 19% opted for a lump sum pay-out. However, where there were projections, respondents were evenly split between annuities
and lump sums.
want to receive information about investment products digitally rather
than in paper form. The information of greatest interest concerns guarantees, costs, risks and
European Commission sees need to take action
According to the European Commission, people need to get more information about
the financial market. They
need simple, clear
information about the products on offer. Otherwise, there is a danger that
people will not take the
necessary precautions because the information available is
overwhelming and confusing, which makes people worry about making wrong decisions. The end result could be old-age
The Commission also wants to address the issue
of occupational pensions. These are not available in every sector, and when people change
jobs they often cannot take their pension rights with them. This could be a
starting point for strengthening this pillar.
There is currently no harmonised EU law on the
transferability of occupational pension rights. At EU level, however, the aim of Directive
2014/50/EU is to at least improve transferability by setting minimum standards for the preservation of pension rights of workers in different Member
At the request of the Commission, the European Insurance and Occupational
Pensions Authority (EIOPA) produced a report on good practices on
the transferability of supplementary occupational pension rights. The report analyses problem areas and
provides advice and information to stakeholders.
It remains to be seen what further approaches the EU
Commission will pursue with regard to occupational pensions.
In addition, the EU Commission is continuing to work on a Pan-European
Private Pension Product PEPP (see article 09/2018). However, it
is expected that the first PEPP offers will not be on the market before 2022.