Gender Equality : Women's Pensions 39% Lower Than Men's in Eu - Report

European Social Policy, June 12, 2013 | Go to article overview

Gender Equality : Women's Pensions 39% Lower Than Men's in Eu - Report


Gender-based differences in pensions received are very often as large as - or larger than - pay gaps, according to a new study, published on 3 June by the European Commission. It shows that women's pensions are 39% lower than men's in the EU27, while the pay gap, on which most of the attention has been focused so far, has been generally reduced over the last few years - to 17%. In this context, experts from the Giacomo Brodolini Foundation (GBF) and the Italian Institute for Social Research have encouraged the EU to assess and try to understand the causes of gaps linked to gender. More specifically, they have called for the establishment of a permanent indicator of gender-based gaps in retirement pensions, such as those that already exist to measure the risk of poverty and pay gaps between men and women.

ROLE OF MARRIAGE AND MATERNITY

The gender pension gap is the difference between pensions collected by women and men. The European Commission study - the first of its kind - shows that women receive, on average, pensions that are 39% lower than those of men. This gap is even larger in four countries: Luxembourg (47%), Germany (44%), the United Kingdom (43%) and the Netherlands (40%). At the other end of the scale, Estonia has the smallest gap (4%), followed by Slovakia (8%), Latvia (9%), the Czech Repulic (13%), Hungary and Lithuania (15%).

The disparities between men and women regarding retirement are the consequences of three tendencies on the labour market: 1. women are less likely to be in employment than men; 2. they work fewer hours and/or years than men; and 3. they receive lower salaries on average. The study shows that retirement schemes are not simply a neutral reflection of people's employment history: pensions can reduce, reproduce or aggravate the gender gap observed on the labour market, and in the sharing of family responsibilities. …

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