Inflation, energy prices and COVID-19 are the probable report topics

VS – 10/2022

The EU’s SPC (Social Protection Committee) is establishing a WGPA (Working Group) to prepare the 2024 Pension Adequacy Report (PAR). A joint report from the European Commission and the SPC has been published every three years since 2012. Its purpose is to analyse current and future-oriented aspects covering the adequacy of pension systems. The last report was adopted by the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council in June 2021, together with the second joint report from the European Commission and the SPC covering long-term care.

Each of the EU countries nominate one member and one deputy for the WGPA working group. The European Commission provides the committee secretariat staff. The OECD's expertise in the old-age security sector is also included.

Objective of the report

The report examines current and projected pension adequacy in terms of income protection, poverty protection and pension duration as well as the impact of recent reforms. Each issue provides in-depth analysis of selected policy issues or pension system aspects as well as regular monitoring of current and forward-looking adequacy indicators.

Potential issues include the impact of inflation and the energy price shock on the lives of the elderly as well as the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which were only cursorily addressed in the last report. According to Eurostat and even before the energy crisis, people over 64 living alone were among those in the EU who had the most problems paying their energy bills. Germany was an exception here. Probable proposals from the High-Level Group of experts covering the future of social protection and the welfare state in the EU are also included in the report. This should present a vision for strengthening European social protection and social systems against the background of current and future challenges up to the end of 2022.

Financial sustainability of pension systems

The EU’s Economic Policy Committee (EPC) is preparing a parallel report about the impact an ageing society will have on the fiscal sustainability of age-related public spending. The EPA's Ageing Working Group is responsible for this. It will also include health and long-term care as well as public pension spending.

Ensuring both the adequacy of pension systems and their financial sustainability over the long term are mutually dependent issues. In order to be consistent, both working groups use the same assumptions for future demographic and economic development. Both reports are scheduled to be published in 2024.