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SOCIAL SECURITY: GROWTH IN PENSIONS SPENDING STABILISED IN 2000.

The annual rate of growth in spending on pensions stabilised in the EU in 2000, at around two percent a year. According to figures released on June 6 by Eurostat, the EU's Statistical Office, expenditure on pensions accounted for 12.5% of GDP in 2000. However, there were wide variations between Member States, with the figure reaching 15% of GDP in Italy and barely touching 3.6% in Ireland.

Government expenditure on old-age pensions (the state pension paid to those who have reached the statutory retirement age) exceeded all other kinds of pension expenditure, such as early-retirement benefits and partial pensions. Expenditure on old-age pensions accounted for 76% of the total. This is especially true in the UK, Germany and France, where around 80% of pensions are old-age pensions. Disability pensions accounted for around 10% of pension expenditure in the EU, and survivors' pensions accounted for another 10%.

Between 1991 and 2000, expenditure on pensions in the EU rose by 0.5% of GDP from 12% to 12.5%. This increase in expenditure in relation to GDP was above average in Portugal but low in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland, which all recorded a drop of over 2%. There was a sharp increase in expenditure as a percentage of GDP between 1991 and 1993, which then stabilised from 1993 to 1997, and dropped from 12.9% to 12.5% between 1997 and 2000.

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jun 14, 2003
Words:233
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