Pensions crisis averted by training

05 October 2004
Life-long training could act as an antidote to the European Union's pension problem, according to the European Institute of Public Administration.

Roger Hessel of the Maastricht-based institute told a conference that EU workers should embark on a life-long training process to improve their employment prospects and help solve the pension problem, the Investment and Pensions Europe website reports.

Speaking at an event organised by the institute's Milan branch, Mr Hessel presented the results of a study he has prepared for Ireland's Ministry of Finance entitled "Implications of demographic changes on pension systems within the public sector of EU member states".

Mr Hessel said peoples' lives have three periods: education, work and pension time, which could last up to 30-35 years.

This believes the mentality implies a "vertical distribution" of time and does not help securing longer working life spans.

He believes workers should start instead a "life-long learning process", which would allow them to be more flexible and employable for longer.

This change would boost employment rates, economic growth and productivity, ultimately improving the pension situation.

The study warns that in 2050 the EU will only have two workers for each retired person, while the average gross domestic product expense on pensions amounts today to 12.7 per cent.
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