EU pension system ‘not always equipped’ for self-employed pension saving – EC

The European Union is “not always equipped” to help the self-employed or those in non-standard work with accruing pension savings and rights.

Speaking at the Pension Adequacy Conference hosted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions in Helsinki, 17 September, European Commission (EC), director general, social affairs and inclusion, Katarina Ivanković Knežević, stated that 40 per cent of jobs in the European Union are either self-employment or jobs classed as non-standard employment that is not permanent or full time.

“Our pensions systems are not always equipped to allow people in such non standard jobs to accrue their social rights,” she said.

Our recommendations, which will soon be adopted, aims exactly at improving access to social protection of non-standard workers and the self-employed,” she explained.

Issues with the self-employed were also brought up by Finnish Centre for Pensions’, Mika Vidlund, who noted that in Finland, almost two thirds of self-employed people plan to continue working after they reach retirement age.

Reasons for this include enjoying their work, not having accumulated enough pension, highly educated and in good health, they like being their own boss , and financial necessity.

“In Finland it is around two thirds who continue working because they enjoy their work. However, if we look at different countries, I would say that there would be great variations in these answers. In some countries financial reasons is the most important,” he said.

In Finland, he said that self-employed pension coverage is very comprehensive. In countries where there are issues, he said it is because the self-employed lack access to supplementary benefits that available to those who are employed.

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