How much do pensioners get paid in Europe?

Many citizens of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus who move for permanent residence to EU countries sooner or later become interested in the question of how much pensioners in Europe are paid. The minimum pension in almost all economically developed countries of the Old World will be incomparably and disproportionately larger. However, each case has its own requirements and conditions that should be taken into account, as well as the main trends that have been clearly visible in recent years.

In a number of countries, pension reform is planned for the near future or is already being carried out, which is due to such factors as the continuing aging of the population, falling birth rates, rising unemployment and a decrease in contributions to the social insurance fund. It is these deductions, as well as length of service and salary level, that determine the size of the pension that a citizen/resident of a particular country will receive. There are other types of pensions – in particular, for disability, loss of a breadwinner, widowhood and other reasons, but they are received by a rather limited contingent.


In order to count on the minimum pension in Spain, which from 2020 is set at 9081.8 euros per year – 14 payments of 648.7 euros, you must officially work for at least 15 years and, accordingly, be registered in the social security system (Seguridad Social). Moreover, two years of this period must necessarily fall within the 15-year period preceding retirement. This usually occurs at 65-66 years old, but it is planned that this bar will gradually be raised to 67 years old – for both men and women. As of March 2020, the average pension in Spain was 1,008 euros per month, and to this we must add a fairly impressive range of benefits: discounts on purchases in shopping centers and supermarkets, medicines and medical care, education and entertainment, as well as on holidays. state program “Social tourism for older people”.


In Spain’s neighboring country on the Iberian Peninsula, pensioners receive an average of about 540 euros, which, given the lower prices for essential goods and services, is a completely acceptable amount. However, to obtain it, you must have an official work experience of over 30 years, and you can retire at the age of 66 years and 5 months. The minimum working pension in Portugal is 282.26 euros, and it is awarded to those who have worked for at least 15 years. For everyone else, including foreigners who have lived here legally for more than seven years, the so-called “social pension” is about 210 euros per month, which is only enough to make ends meet.


Since 2012, pension reform has been carried out in Italy, implying a gradual increase in the retirement age. According to this plan, in 2021 it will be the same for everyone, regardless of the form of employment (employed in the private/public sector or self-employed/business owners) – 67 years and 2 months. Of these, the minimum length of service must be 38 years, the period for payment of insurance premiums must be 18 years, and early retirement is possible if the length of service exceeds 42 years for women and 43 years for men. The Italian “minimum wage” is 687 euros per month, but taking into account a number of additional payments, it usually exceeds 750 euros. The average pension in Italy hovers around 1,200 euros per month, but varies quite noticeably depending on the region.


The French pension system differs from most European countries in its two-tier structure (basic and funded components), which is determined by length of service – at least 41 years and 6 months and the number of accumulated points based on salary and insurance contributions. In order for the final amount to be greater than the estimated amount, there are many programs addressed to employees in various fields, civil servants, entrepreneurs, the self-employed, etc. If all necessary conditions are met and upon reaching 67 years of age, residents of France will receive a labor pension in the amount of 903 euros per month, while for others the so-called “solidarity” pension is provided – 800 euros. The average pension in the country exceeds 1,500 euros per month, which allows you to lead a decent lifestyle.


In Germany, the pension system is even more complex than in France, and the size of the pension is influenced by several factors. These are gender (men receive noticeably more), the age of final retirement (currently set at 65 years), pension contributions and their continuity (ideally 45 years), estimated accumulated points, place of residence and the economic situation in the country as a whole. There is no such term as “minimum pension” in Germany; instead, there is a “basic social benefit”, which is assigned to those who were unable to earn a pension above the subsistence level: 416 euros for single people and 374 euros for those with a spouse. Separately, the state pays for the maintenance of housing and partially takes on other vital expenses. Officially, the average pension in Germany is just over 1,250 euros per month, but in reality this figure barely reaches one thousand euros.

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