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5 September 2017, ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, ETUI meeting room, 7th floor; 12h30-14h00

OSE-ETUI Lunch debate: Pensions for workers in arduous jobs

Presentation of the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) Thematic Report on Retirement regimes for workers in arduous or hazardous jobs : Slavina Spasova, Researcher European Social Observatory and Bart Vanhercke, Director European Social Observatory

Discussants: Celien Vanmoerkerke, Pension expert ABVV/FGTB, Marie-Noëlle Vanderhoven, Senior adviser dealing with pensions issues at FEB-VBO and Valdis Zagorskis, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

Chair: Philippe Pochet, General director ETUI

Briefing :

In several European countries workers employed in jobs recognised as ‘arduous’ or ‘hazardous’ seemingly benefit from more favourable pension rules, including advantageous accrual of pension rights and access to a (nearly) full pension before reaching the statutory pensionable age. In recent years though, pension systems across Europe have been experiencing a shift towards longer working lives and later retirement, against the background of population ageing and fiscal constraints.

In order to shed light on the retirement patterns and the current policy developments regarding the workers in arduous and hazardous jobs (WAHJ), this joint ETUI-OSE Lunch debate will discuss the key findings of a recent European Social Policy Network (ESPN) report drafted by David Natali, Slavina Spasova and Bart Vanhercke (OSE). The authors will briefly outline the end-of-career policy mix targeted at WAHJ in 35 European countries and will provide some insights on the pension rules and other social protection benefits tailored to them, as well as the main retirement patterns and the adequacy of their pensions.

The Lunch debate will address the main findings of the study, including the shrinking number of workers recognised as WAHJ, the closing down of many early retirement routes as well as the increasingly stricter conditionality linked to social protection benefits. Along with these developments on restricting the opportunities for early labour market exit, the panel discussion will pinpoint recent innovative measures aimed to prolonging the working lives of these workers.

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