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5. Financing the Pension System

Pensions represent a very large and rising share of public expenditure. In the EU as a whole, average pension expenditure is projected to account for more than 12% of GDP in 2060; there are, however, large differences across countries. Public pension schemes differ in the way that they are financed: either by social contributions or by general government contributions. The social contribution rate is shown as a percentage of gross earnings and can be divided into contribution rates by the employee and the employer. Total contribution rates as a percentage of gross earnings vary significantly across countries. Apart from public pensions, private pensions contribute to the pensioners’ overall retirement income. Various private pension funds exist across countries.


  • Civil Servants: Contribution Paid by Employee / Employer, 2011
    Table | 01.01.2013 | Details | Download
  • Contribution of Different Components of Pension Systems to Total Pension Promise, 2005 - 2013
    Table | 01.06.2014 | Details | Download
  • Gross pension expenditure: Contribution of the decomposed factors to change in public pension expenditure between 2013 and 2060 (forecast)
    Table | 12.07.2016 | Details | Download
  • Indexation, valorisation and earnings reference, old-age pensions in the EU, 2015
    Table | 12.07.2016 | Details | Download
  • Mandatory public pension: Source of funds, 2014
    Table | 01.01.2015 | Details | Download
  • Overview of Pension Funding Regulations
    Table | 01.02.2012 | Details | Download
  • Pension Accounting (CESifo DICE Report, Database Article)
    Report | 03.11.2011 | Details | Download
  • Pension contribution rates (employee plus employer), in percent of income, 1994 - 2012
    Table | 01.02.2015 | Details | Download
  • Pension Taxation in the EU: A Concern for Mobile Pensioners?
    Report | 23.10.2015 | Details | Download
  • Public and private expenditure on pensions, as a percentage of GDP, 2000 - 2012
    Table | 01.03.2015 | Details | Download
  • Public expenditure on old-age and survivors cash benefits, as a percentage of GDP, 1980 - 2011
    Table | 12.07.2016 | Details | Download | Visual Story
  • Public Pension Contribution Revenue and Pension Expenditure, 2007 - 2060
    Table | 01.02.2013 | Details | Download

Visual Story on projections of public pension expenditure (preview)

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