Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 4

DURING our Euromeeting in Alicante 1999, which took place under the sign of solidarity between generations, the speakers pointed out the relations between young and elderly people.


But another type of solidarity between generations is gaining more and more importance: solidarity between the different generations of retired people. The tendency to exclude people of a certain age from the economic production context is getting stronger and stronger in the European Union countries. The definition '3x20' or 'over 60' is more and more replaced by the definition 'over 50', seen the number of early and temporary retirements. In the reorganisation or rationalisation of the companies, the category of the 'over 50' holds the first place. This occurs although it was ascertained that the average lifetime is increased, and these people therefore are generally still in the possession of all their mental and physical capabilities.


This leads to a paradoxical situation, in which the years of retirement or professional inactivity are equal to or even exceed those of professional activity, with inevitable consequences both for the individual and for society.


It is not very probable that the pension founds in the future can stand this permanently growing number of new retired people.


Apart from this consideration, there are also consequences for the individual, considering that the 'over 50' generation shall not take advantage of the status of previous generation, who from the economic point of view and the social security system, led a normal professional life, and this until the age of 65 or perhaps 60 years. They mostly belong to the group that considers itself 'the well to do elderly people', whose situation, however, is more and more different from that of the 'over 50'. Besides these economic consequences, which are not insignificant, there is also the economic aspect. A society cannot neglect this wealth of experiences and mental and physical capabilities without incurring consequences in all sectors. It is exactly in this emergency that the solidarity between the retired generations can intervene, both on the individual and the social level. The legitimate demands of the younger retired people should become part of the solidarity of the elderly generation, and the younger retired people should, in their turn, support strongly and efficiently those of the elderly whose capabilities are limited.


Politics moreover must consider the power that this multitude of, voluntarily or not, retired people represents, on the economic, financial and social plane or as a lobby.


Let us not forget that this multitude in the European Union countries represents, or will represent in short time, almost a third, perhaps even more, of the electorate. However, since this group is not unitary, but quite differentiated, it is necessary to reach, by means of the organisations, said solidarity, so that society realises that we are not living any longer in a short-lived world, and that the elderly want their voice to be heard, without renouncing this solidarity between all generations.


This was one of the results of the Euromeeting Alicante'99.



Raoul Maelstaf

President of the CGER-ASLK Committee (Belgium)