Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 20




In 2010 the European Commission defined five main objectives for the EU to achieve until the end of 2020. These objectives refer to employment, research and development, climate/energy, education and social inclusion and poverty reduction.

Regarding the objective of social poverty reduction, the Commission set as a goal to “reduce, at least, by 20 million the quantity of people at risk of or in a situation of poverty or social exclusion”.

Regarding job creation, the objective is to “increase by 75% the employment rate within the 20 – 64 age range”.

The European Group of Pensioners of Saving Banks and Banks (EGPSBB) chose two out of these topics for its debates during the 21st Euromeeting taking place in La Coruña (Spain):

- Social poverty reduction.

- Job creation.

The reason for choosing these topics is justified by the fact that the EGPSBB represents an age group seriously affected by the poverty and unemployment consequences. According to EUROSTAT statistics concerning 2014, one out of four European citizens is at risk of living in poverty situation. The quantity of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion in Europe is 122.6 million.

The elderly (as well as children, disabled and immigrants) are the most affected by poverty, because if they do not have some savings, they do not have possibilities to survive with dignity, especially if their incomes come exclusively from one pension, as it happens in most cases.

Children unemployment has also a very negative consequence on the elderly incomes because, as we can verify, they are the ones who have to aid them in unemployment or incomes reduction cases.
As the main consequences for the elderly, we have isolation, privation, difficulty for accessing health and comfort basic services, discrimination, etc.


  • There is poverty in old age
    According to EU data, there are about 15% of older people on the edge of poverty. One out of two elderly fears not having enough money in old age. 
  • The prevention of poverty in old age starts in nursery school
    A child growing up in poverty and marginalization conditions ends up being a poor adult and will keep being so in old age.
  • Richness distribution asymmetry
    A greater economic growth does not mean necessarily an employment guarantee or poverty and social inequalities reduction.
  • Justice systems that do not work
    Corruption, marginalization, drug and people traffic have not been combatted correctly, what leads us to citizens incredulity towards this cornerstone of the European society. 
  • Unemployment rate increase bring benefits to all
    A greater self-development is needed. The economic and social multipliers lead to private consumption increase, investment in education, crime diminution, reduction of public social burdens, etc.
  • Assistance to self-employed workers
    Self-employed workers have normally no access to the public pensions system and do not have the capacity for saving in order to allow them to live an old age without worries.


  • Adapted basic pension setup according to the elderly’s needs.
    A minimum pension adapted to the needs of each and every one and based on transparent rules should be set.
  • Health and illness prevention’s upgrade.
    The sanitary policy limelight should be prevention rather than cure. Socially less-favoured people are more often ill and that makes access to work harder. We will have to invest a lot in preventive medicine, especially in these social sectors.
  • Creation of a public and quality services network, with fair costs.
    With the crisis, some Member States reduced the quality of the basic public services leaving it in its minimal form. It is necessary to take the quality of these services back (health, education) and to reduce the costs of access that citizens have to pay.
  • The elderly’s participation and social inclusion.
    Preserve the healthy life environment, leading the elderly to participate actively in the common life of their quarter. Keep the elderly as long as possible within his/her family environment, avoiding him/her to be hospitalized in nursing homes.
  • Access to labour market for the elderly
    The elderly has competences that should be valued and put to the service of the community, whether through an active job (adapted to his/her capacities), or through a job where services as a volunteer are delivered for the community.
  • Age-friendly urban environment.
    Conditions must be provided for the elderly not to be forced to move to quarters where they will have worse social and living conditions, simply because they cannot keep paying the rent of their houses.
  • Balance between work and family life.
    More attention must be paid to single-parent family members, as well as to workers who look after older members of their families or disabled people.
  • Improve links between public education and labour market.
    Education will have to bet on improving capacities of leadership, managing and business initiative. Intra-community mobility between young people must be stimulated.
  • Fight against school dropout
    Young people must have optimal conditions for achieving their compulsory studies in order to be able to improve their competences and roll them out in the professional world. It is unacceptable that children leave school for economic reasons;
  • Fight against unemployment, especially youth unemployment.
    Resuming the industrial production and manufacture is essential. It is necessary to carry out public investment in innovation, research, and development of qualifications and professional competences.
  • Support the business initiative spirit of young people (“Erasmus for young entrepreneurs” program)
    Increase needed funds for young people to create their own companies. Make the experience exchange program wider between the young European entrepreneurs in order to strengthen labour market.
  • Crime reduction
    Justice has to function for fighting corruption, fraud, and illicit enrichment for its levels not to put welfare and citizens’ future at risk. Since many times crime is linked to unemployment, as the latter will reduce, the crime rate will also do so.
  • Transfer work tax burden to other forms of taxation.
    The tax burden distribution between labour factor and capital factor has to be revised in order to free workers and to let them put money away for old age.
  • The future Europe will have to be a social Europe.
    The European courts worries have to be aimed towards the achievement of its citizens’ welfare, distributing the generated incomes in a more equitable way.  The social protection (Welfare State) will have to be an essential tool for carrying out this distribution, reaching social cohesion and solidarity and will have to remain in the heart of the European project.

GET (Work and Study Group)