Call for pensions reform to deal with ageing population

21 March 2005
A Brussels official has called for reform to the pensions system across the European Union in view of the pronounced problem of ageing population faced in Europe.

Vladimir Spidla, employment commissioner for the EU, said that reform of pensions and increased productivity should be central to the Union's response to the ageing demographic issue.

According to the European Commission, an extra 40 million people will be above retirement age by 2030, whilst the Europe-wide fertility rate of 1.5 cannot hope to replenish the workforce quickly enough to repair the deficit.

"It is clear we are going to need pensions reform and that people's working lives are going to have to be extended," Mr Spidla said, as reported by the Financial Times.

The one-time Czech prime minister also emphasised the importance of social services and community networks in all EU countries preparing to care for the increasing numbers of elderly people.

The Commission will start considering legislation to help address the issues in September.

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