Pension reforms within the EU have been called for mainly in order to restore the financial sustainability of present systems, particularly in the face of very rapid population ageing. The success or failure of reforms is therefore largely identified in their ability to guarantee the aggregate financial balances of public systems. The main features of pension design (relative importance of the various pillars, transitional issues and so on) have been left to the single Member States.
There is nevertheless a second set of questions, not less important than overall financial equilibrium.
These are the microeconomic features of the pension system that might affect factors mobility, work incentives, competitiveness among firms, and so on. In this connection, harmonisation or co-ordination of pension policy within the EU are of paramount importance.
Within this framework, we have chosen to focus on three issues:
effects of the large differences of payroll taxes on labour choices and the labour market;
taxation of private funded pensions;
“portability” of occupational pensions.