Cyprus has one of EU’s widest gender pension gaps

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At 38% Cyprus has one of the widest gender pension gaps in the EU with men receiving a lot more than women to get by while pensioners at risk of poverty is a high 22.5%.

In 2018, women in the 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 Eurostat.

However, 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, closely followed by Malta (42%), the Netherlands (40%), Austria (39%), Cyprus (38%) and Germany (37%).

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 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 from 10.4% in 2017 and 21.4% in 2010.

Poverty risk

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 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 Cyprus, the at-risk-of-poverty among female pensioners was higher (24%) than men (20.5%).

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).

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).