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EU is urged to look at staff pensions

The economic and monetary affairs committee has backed a call for a review of European Union staff pensions brought forward by Conservative MEP Vicky Ford.

Last week, the EU committee voted through a pensions green paper, Towards adequate, sustainable and safe European pensions systems, which included an amendment saying the committee feels a European Commission review should be carried out by June 2011.

Ford says: “I am extraordinarily pleased that my amendment has gone through. It says we should lead by example on pension provision at a time when we are suggesting best practice to member states.”

In a written parliamentary question in July, Ford pointed out the green paper lists actions that member states have taken to address unsustainable pensions that other states might want to consider. These include encouraging more people to work longer, raising pensionable age, encouraging older workers to stay in the labour market and penalising earlier retirement.

She asked: “Which of the steps, mentioned above, has or will be taken by the commission to ensure the EU’s own pension schemes are sustainable?”

The paper will now go to the employment and social affairs committee who are co-legislators on the pensions bill and it will then be voted on by the parliament.

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, recently estimated the annual cost of EU staff pensions will rise from €1.2bn last year to €2.5bn by 2045.



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