Occupational social security schemes (Chapter 2 of Directive 2006/54)

AuthorRomina Bartolo
6 Occupational social security schemes (Chapter 2 of Directiv e 2006/54)
6.1 General (legal) context
6.1.1 Surveys and reports on the practical difficulties linked to occupational and/or
statutory social security issues
On 9 August 2016, the Malta Chamber of Commerce published an a rticle on women and
pensions. The author is a national expert in the field. The article highlights the differences
between the work patterns of women and of men , their life expe ctancy and the fact that
these differences are not incorporated directly into the pension system design.44 The article
highlighted the challenges that women face, including the fact that they work fewer hours
because of their family, stay in jobs f or shorter periods and are m ore likely to work part
time or on reduced hours. Moreover, the life expectancy fo r women in Malt a is 84 years,
which is 5 years longer than men and this means that a woman is more likely to outlive
her savin gs and, hence , is at a hig her risk of living below the poverty line. The author
describes the counter-measures taken in the form of contributory credits and the
introduction of a concept where the pension of the male spouse moves in full to the female
spouse in the event that a woman qualifies for a pension in her own right. The article also
explores the complications that arise with regard to pensions when a marriage is dissolved.
6.1.2 Other issues related to gender equality and social security
There are no other issues to report at present.
6.1.3 Political and societal debate and pending legislative proposals
None to report.
6.2 Direct and indirect discrimination
Direct and indirect discrimin ation on the ground of sex in occupational social security
schemes is prohibited by means of Regulations 3 and 4 of the Equal Treatment in
Occupational Social Security Regulations with regard to the scope of the schemes and
conditions for accessing them, the oblig ation to contribute to t he schemes and the way
that the contributions are calculated, the way the benefits are calculated and the conditions
governing them.
Any provisions such as those determining who may participate in an occupational scheme,
fixing the compulsory or optional nature of participation in an occupational scheme,
different rules regarding age of entry into a scheme or minimum period of employment or
membership of a scheme in order to obtain benefits , different conditions for granting or
restricting benefits that is contrary to equal treatment, fixing different retirement ag es,
suspending the retention or acquisition of rights during periods of maternity leave or leave
for family reasons and setting different levels of benefits except as may be necessary to
take account of actuarial calculation factors will be considered null and void .
However, for funded defined-benefit schemes which the Retirement Pensions Act,
(Chapter 514 of the Laws of Malta) defines as a retirement scheme, other than a d efined
contribution retirement scheme, which has as its primary purpose that of providing for the
payment of fixed or determinable retirement benefits, certain elements inclu ding:
(i) the conversion into a capital sum of part of a periodic pension;
(ii) the transfer of pension rights;
44 Spiteri Gingell, D. (2016), ‘Women and Pensions’, MaltaChamber, 9 August 2016.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT