Recent pension reforms in Europe: More challenges, new directions. An overview
During the last 30 years, all European Union member states have reformed their pension systems. In view of ongoing and intensifying population aging, efforts have aimed at containing the future rise of the contribution rate, improving the system dependency ratio, lowering the benefit ratio and/or infusing tax money or other financial resources into the system.
Moreover, since about the early 2000s, we can observe a move towards a multi‐pillar pension system in countries hitherto running a dominant‐pillar system: private pre‐funded occupational pensions and individual provision for old age are given larger roles within the public–private mix of retirement income. An analysis of reforms shows a finite menu of adjustment options, and concrete measures have to be adapted to nation‐specific institutional contexts. Finally, we can conclude that pension reforms focusing on long‐term financial sustainability may increase the risk of old‐age poverty and, thus, violate a central objective of pension schemes.