Press Release


Pensions: European supervision and incentives needed. Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP


OOMEN-RUIJTEN, RiaEU Member States are responsible for pensions, but European supervision is necessary. This is the main conclusion of a Report by Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP. The Report was adopted today by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament following the European Commission's White Paper.

"Europeans are getting older. A third of our population is older than 55 years. Still there are Member States where pensioners are not even offered a minimum, while we have agreed to combat poverty", Ria Oomen-Ruijten stated. "Moreover, Member States that have to cut expenses because of the Stability and Growth Pact, often first decrease the pensions. Welfare of the elderly is important for spending, but we also have to offer our elderly a decent standard of living."

The Netherlands is relatively well placed compared to some other EU countries. The ageing population has more impact in some countries than in The Netherlands because they haven't saved as much as the Dutch. Ageing in these countries leads to immense expense, with many consequences for the Stability and Growth Pact and thus the stability of the Euro. A strong Euro, with low inflation, is of paramount importance for people with a small amount of savings and those with a small pension. The EU therefore wants to see how it can help Member States develop sustainable, safe and adequate pension systems.

It is also important that pensions do not prevent people from changing jobs: "I think it's important that people can move freely inside and outside the country. For this movement, it is important to preserve the rights that individuals build in and outside a state. Supplementary pensions should not be cancelled ", said Oomen-Ruijten.

The supplementary pension rights of someone who works for less than five years in Germany have now vanished. "I am in favour of keeping the value of these rights. This can be very well arranged and rather easy. We in Europe must agree on minimum requirements for the acquisition of a pension and for equal treatment of active participants and dormant rights."

The Report also advocates the provision of more information on pensions. It should also give insight into foreign pension savings. A so-called tracking system is now simply missing.

For further information:
Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845863
Kees Bos, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-470-473183

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.

Employment and Social Affairs