AGE aims to voice and promote the interests of older people in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most. Everyone in the European Union is increasingly affected by decisions taken by its institutions: the Council of Ministers, the Commission, the European Parliament and the Court of Justice. Decisions affect the daily lives of all its inhabitants - including older people.
2 AGE Position on minimum pension in the context of work on minimum income2
Guarantee a minimum pension to prevent poverty among the most vulnerable older people
The vulnerability of older people is often related to their lack of financial resources. Older women are in a particularly precarious position as their right to a pension income is often derived from their marital status (spousal or survivor benefits) and they rarely have adequate pension rights of their own for diverse reasons (career breaks, low paid jobs). Other groups of older people, such as older single person, older migrants or disabled older people also face multiple disadvantages in building adequate old-age income. For all such vulnerable older people, suitable social protection provided by the state is necessary safety net.
AGE also questions the view that a minimum income in old age is a disincentive for employment, since the choices people have about employment are limited by a range of other factors, including job unavailability, family duties, mobility problems, age discrimination, or lack of training or inadequate skills. These often prevent them from getting a job or remaining active in the labour market. Minimum pension provision is a necessary safety net to protect the most vulnerable older people and as such does not distort employment activation policy.
Where pensions are not fully indexed to general wage rises, pensioners fall behind society’s progress as they grow older. Many who retired with an adequate pension then slip gradually into the pensions poverty trap, with an income close to the threshold for means testing. AGE believes the right to an adequate minimum income, without means testing, is fundamental to everyone’s dignity and independence.
See online : AGE