Pension system in Cyprus and in the EU countries Sweden Belgium and United Kingdom

Hadjicharalambous, Kleopas (2012)

"Social security is a fundamental human right recognized in numerous international legal instruments, in particular the Declaration of Philadelphia (1944), which is an integral part of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations" .sited in World Social Security Report 2010111. Providing coverage in times of crisis and beyond. pp. 25 The aim of the present study is to make a short description and comparison of the pension system in Cyprus and in three other European Countries, Sweden, Belgium and the United Kingdom. There is not a "perfect" pension system but each country has a different economic, political and social system which means that it not only affects internal factors but external as well. The first Chapter gives a short overview about the challenges and the problems that the Pension Systems in Europe and in the rest of the world are facing. The second chapter briefly describes the main types of the pension systems that exist in Europe. The third Chapter gives an overview of the Pension System in Cyprus, describing the General Social Insurance scheme, the Social Pension Scheme and the Occupational pension plans. It points out the qualifying conditions and refers also to the replacement rate, the different benefits and the different levels. The fourth Chapter explains the new fully implemented in 2003 public old-age pension system in Sweden which consist of an earnings-related component based on notional accounts, a private mandatory defined contribution system and a pension-income-tested top-up. Furthermore it gives an overview of the replacement rate, the occupational pensions, and the private pensions. The fifth Chapter describes the Belgian pension system which consists of the public pension scheme, the occupational pension scheme and the voluntary individual pension schemes. The sixth Chapter refers to the pension system in the United Kingdom which consists of the public Basic Pension (BSP) together with the State second pension (SSP) , and of the Personal pension and Company pension. The last chapter deals with the Pension systems reform. "Retirement age" is the most visible parameter of the pension system. As such, it sends a clear signal for people in choosing when to cease work. Increases in pension age have often proved among the more contentious elements of pension reforms, compared with other, less visible, changes to retirement-income provision.

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