Today in Strasbourg, the Socialists and Democrats voted in favour of a report calling for an EU strategy to end and prevent the gender pension gap, in spite of attempts by the Christian Democrats and Liberals to water it down.

The S&Ds want the strategy to focus on the root causes that lead to the gender pension gap, such as the gender pay gap, labour-market segregation, part-time work, existing stereotypes, the lack of options to facilitate a better work-life balance and discrimination, but policies which exacerbate it must also be abolished.

S&D Group negotiator on gender equality, Maria Noichl MEP, said:

"The fact that today women in Europe still receive on average 40% less pension than men is outrageous and unacceptable! It reflects the persistent economic inequality between women and men, based on discrimination and its financial consequences over a whole lifetime, leading to female poverty in old age. The S&Ds ensured that this report calls for policies to allow for a better work-life balance so women can participate in the labour market. We also insisted on concrete measures to guarantee equal pay for equal work and work of equal value, such as wage-mapping and job-evaluation tools. Social-protection measures must be adopted to ensure that women's pay and welfare entitlements are in line with this principle and adequate measures must be established if it is to be curbed. We also want taxation systems to be reviewed and incentives which are counter-productive to gender equality to be abolished."

S&D Group spokeswoman on women's rights and gender equality, Iratxe García Pérez MEP, added:

"Even though the S&D Group voted for a more ambitious statement, this initiative report is a step forward. We managed to highlight the important role of the first pillar in pension systems – occupational pensions – for gender equality and to call for a shift towards individual rather than derived pension entitlements. Social partners and collective bargaining are key and must be closely involved when implementing policies to close the gender pay gap and thus the gender pension gap. We are disappointed that Conservatives and Liberals did not support our call for more wage transparency, decent-quality jobs and adequate public minimum pensions."

MEPs involved






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