As outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights action plan, the EU supports national efforts to ensure adequate pensions and minimum income through EU legislation, EU funding, monitoring and analysis, as well as mutual learning activities. The action plan announces that the Commission will map best practices in providing pension rights for care-related career breaks in pension schemes and promote the exchange of practices among Member States, social partners and pension stakeholders.
The objective of the contract is to evaluate the situation with regard to protection of pension rights during career breaks linked to care, focusing on occupational pension schemes, considering that pension credits for care periods are a key policy lever to protect the pension rights of carers and support gender equality in working lives and later on in pensions.
‘Pension credits’ are pension rights granted to pension scheme members for non-contributory periods, i.e. periods when they do not carry out paid work or pay contributions into the scheme.
Only occupational pension schemes, i.e. schemes linked to an employment relationship or professional activity, fall under the scope of this call for tender.
The study shall provide a mapping of occupational pension credits linked to care including a characterisation of the occupational pension schemes and what determines them (legislation, pension plans, collective agreements, etc.), an indication of the volume (i.e. how many workers are covered) and possible differences between economic sectors with predominantly male and female workforce (e.g. care or education sectors, IT sector). The study will contribute to the review of the application of a number of recommendations addressed to Member States (e.g. via the European semester exercise) or to the analytical underpinning for the Pension Adequacy Report, and implementation of Principle No 15 of the European Pillar of Social Rights and provide indications and options for further action at European and national levels, considering the roles of different stakeholders.
The following forms of career breaks fall within the scope of the study:
a) career breaks for childcare periods;
b) career breaks for periods spent providing long-term care to a sick, disabled or dependent relative.
The geographical area covered by this contract are the Member States of the EU.