The Database is a unique resource providing a comprehensive snapshot of the European pensions’ landscape and helps to better understand pension systems in Europe.
The Database has been prepared by EIOPA on a best effort basis, with contributions from national competent authorities. Adjustments and simplifications were applied both in defining characteristics of plans and products and in providing the information by the authorities. Therefore, the Database should not be interpreted as a fully complete, “official” list of all pension plans, products or their providers available in EEA. Similarly, the definitions and classifications used have been established for the purpose of the Database and are not binding in any way.
In addition, for some countries the information contained in the Database may not be entirely explicative of the national context.
Plans and products included in the Database are those non-public arrangements and investment vehicles which have an explicit objective of retirement provision (according to a national social and labour law or tax rules) irrespective whether they are of occupational or personal type.
Both 1st pillar-bis pensions available in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and plans/products which are defined in the legislation but not yet offered to the public (or have no members) are also included.
The pension plans managed by the State or public entities (1st pillar pensions) and “pure” annuities (i.e. products not linked to an accumulation phase) are excluded from the Database.
Organisation of data
The database files comprise of:
- an Excel Spreadsheet i.e. the Database itself, with rows representing types of pension plans/products or their providers and columns representing the variables,
- a “Guide for Compilation” - explaining the methodology used,
- a “Statistical Summary” - with a number of tables and charts presenting a distribution of reported types of pension plans/products by their various features. The summary also includes general and country-specific disclaimers which need to be read before using the Database.
Currently, the Database includes 139 types of pension plans/products or their providers, according to their definition used in the national context. However, within the same kind of plan/product subcategories of plans may be identified, characterised by differences in fundamental features (e.g.: DB/DC, occupational/personal). In these cases, the authorities provided data split by these subcategories. As a result there are two levels of classification: “level 1” in column (1) and “level 2” in column (1.2).
Each column in the spreadsheet contains a variable which refer to specific features. Currently there are 32 qualitative and 11 quantitative variables including i.a.:
- applicable EU law,
- occupational/personal split,
- DB/DC split (and intermediate cases),
- type of financial vehicle,
- distribution channels,
- number of active members.
This organisation of data should be seen mainly as a practical arrangement that allows for an easier and more flexible use of the database.
The Database is aimed to be updated, checked for completeness, consistency and methodological aspects on an annual basis.