Is pension at the age of 70 Europe’s future?
The Summit on Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing took place in Brussels on 9-10 March 2015. The European Commission invited participants to discuss how Europe can address the challenges and seize the opportunities arising from demographic change through ICT and innovation.
A number of European Commissioners, national ministers, regional authorities and leaders from industry, including SMEs and startups, as well as civil society took the floor and led debates.
In his opening address, European Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society, Günther Oettinger pointed out that the world was going through a huge digital revolution which was equally an opportunity in terms of creating more jobs and growth but also a challenge. This was said to be particularly true for people who cannot use modern technologies and are in danger of being left out, which in turn can create a wider gap in the society between “digital natives”, who are born into digital society, and others. Everyone should be included as member of the digital society which gives a possibility to ease growing older with a help of modern technologies such as smart homes.
Commissioner Oettinger called for an intelligent pension reform in order to keep the balance between the pensioners and pension contributors. In this regard, he was considering pension at the age of 70 as an approaching necessity.
There was a consensus among participants that ageing should not be seen as a problem to contain. In order to address ageing properly, it should be seen as an opportunity and linked with growth and economy, it might be indeed one of the greatest opportunities for the economy in the coming years.