Cyprus has one of the highest pension gaps in EU

European Statistical Service releases data on pensions across the European Union

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Pension gap between men & women and risk of poverty for pensioners in Cyprus, among the highest in the EU

In 2018, women in the European Union (EU) aged over 65 received a pension that was on average 30% lower than that of men, while in Cyprus this gap was 38.2% and in Greece 24.6%, according to data released today by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU. However, according to Eurostat, over time the gender pension gap has been decreasing and is now 4 percentage points (pp) less compared with 2010 (34%).

The largest difference was observed in Luxembourg, where women aged over 65 received 43% less pension than men. Luxembourg was closely followed by Malta (42%), the Netherlands (40%), Austria (39%), Cyprus (38%) and Germany (37%).

On the other hand, the smallest differences in pension income between women and men were in Estonia (1%), Denmark (7%), Slovakia (8%), Czechia (13%) and Hungary (16%).

Compared with 2010, the gender pension gap has decreased in the majority of EU Member States. The most noticeable decreases were recorded in Greece (from 37% in 2010 to 25% in 2018, or -12 pp), Denmark (-11 pp), Belgium and Slovenia (both -10 pp) as well as in France (-9 pp).

In contrast, the gender pension gap increased in seven EU Member States since 2010. The most significant increase was observed in Malta (from 22% in 2010 to 42% in 2018, or +20 pp), followed by Latvia (9 pp) and Croatia (4 pp), while it remained unchanged in Slovakia.

In 2018, the proportion of pensioners aged over 65 at risk of poverty in the European Union (EU) stood at 15%, slightly above the figure of 14% in 2017, yet below the risk of poverty of working-age population (16 to 64 years) at almost 17%. Unlike the gender pension gap, at-risk-of-poverty rate for pensioners has been rising gradually since 2013, when it stood below 13%, bouncing back in 2018 well above the level experienced in 2010 (14%).

In Cyprus, this rate stood at 22.5% in 2018 (the 6th largest in the EU), stable compared to 22.6% in 2017 and down from 42.3% in 2010. In Greece, it was 9% (the 3rd lowest in the EU) in 2018 down form 10.4% in 2017 and 21.4% in 2010.

In the majority of EU Member States, the proportion of pensioners aged over 65 who are deemed to be at risk of poverty lies between 10% and 30%. The four countries with an at-risk-of-poverty rate above 30% in 2018 were Estonia (54%), Latvia (50%), Lithuania (41%) and Bulgaria (30%).

In contrast, the lowest rates in 2018 were recorded in Slovakia (6%), France (8%), Greece (9%), Denmark, Luxembourg and Hungary (all 10%).

Across the EU as a whole between 2010 and 2018, the proportion of female pensioners aged over 65 who were at risk of poverty was around 3 to 4 percentage points (pp) higher than the rate for male pensioners.

In 2018, the at-risk-of-poverty rate of female pensioners was more than 10 pp higher than the rate of male pensioners in six EU Member States: Lithuania (18 pp), Estonia (17 pp), Bulgaria (15 pp), Czechia (13 pp), Latvia and Romania (both 11 pp).
In contrast, three countries had at-risk-of-poverty rates which were higher for male pensioners than for female pensioners: Spain and Malta (both 3 pp) and Italy (1 pp).

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