Aviva welcomes European Commission white paper on pension reform

16 Feb 2012

Aviva has welcomed today’s publication of the European Commission White Paper: ‘An Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions’. 

The European Commission has signalled its intent to build a more secure platform for individuals to plan for their retirement, including championing recommendations made by Aviva, such as annual pension statements and measures to increase consumer confidence in retirement savings products.

Igal Mayer, Aviva Europe CEO said, “We welcome the Commission’s support for the concept of annual pension statements for all EU citizens. This would allow them to compare projected retirement income against their own expectations and take action as a result. However, Europe’s €1.9 trillion pension gap cannot be reduced with a single solution. Individuals can make a significant positive impact to their retirement income by saving more and saving earlier, yet Aviva’s “Mind the Gap” research shows that consumers are ignoring the warning signs, creating a gap between retirement expectations and actual levels of saving.”

Mayer continued, “The Commission also discloses plans to present an initiative aimed at improving the quality of private pension products by 2013. This initiative must consider both the effectiveness of existing incentives for pension saving and how to create conditions which allow providers to demonstrate the quality and security of products, facilitating comparability and increasing consumer confidence.”

More information about Europe's pension gap

In September 2010 Aviva calculated Europe's pension gap - the difference between the amount that people retiring from 2011 to 2051 will need to maintain an adequate standard of living and what they will receive from public and private pensions - at €1.9 trillion and made a series of recommendations designed to change attitudes to saving and encourage more people to better understand the financial choices they need to make to prepare for retirement:

  1. The creation of a European Quality Standard for Pensions to demonstrate the quality and security of products.
  2. Establish a European Pensions Savings Target, variable by country.
    Issuing regular pension statements to encourage consumers to consider the state pension as only part of a mixed strategy for providing for their retirement.
  3. Member States to review the effectiveness of existing incentive schemes for pensions saving, their impact and visibility and whether they are appropriately communicated and targeted.

Aviva’s 2010 report “Mind the Gap – Quantifying the Pensions Gap in Europe” is available to download from www.aviva.com/europepensionsgap

The second in Aviva’s “Mind the Gap” series, published in November 2011 and called “Towards Annual Pension Statements across the EU” revealed how raising awareness of how much people stand to receive in retirement would encourage them to think about their retirement strategy.

Download full report Towards Annual Pension Statements across the EU (PDF 2.4MB)

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Enquiries:

James Leach  +44 (0)20 7662 0253 

Notes to editors:

About Aviva
Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group, serving 44.5 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £47.1 billion and funds under management of £402 billion at 31 December 2010.

We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe.

The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2010

About Aviva in Europe
Aviva provides life, general and health insurance products to more than 32 million customers. Customers are served through a multi-channel distribution network, including banks, insurance intermediaries, corporate partners, agents, direct sales force, telephone and the internet.

Aviva is a clear leader in bancassurance in Europe and the UK, with 62 banking agreements.

Our chosen presence in Europe combines large, developed economies of the UK, France, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Poland with the emerging markets of Turkey and Russia, providing strength and scale in some of the largest and most attractive insurance markets in the world.