7 Statutory schemes of social security (Directive 79/7)
7.1 General (legal) context
7.1.1 Surveys and reports on the practical difficulties linked to statutory schemes of social
security (Directive 79/7)
The persistent gender pay gap in Austria and widespread p art-time work by women
contribute to a signi ficant gender pension gap. On average, stat utory pensions received
by women are between 40 % and 50 % lower than those received by men. Both the pay
gap and the pension gap are significantly smaller for public servants.112 Statutory pensions
and pensions for public servants are calculated on the basis of either lifelong work earnings
or on an average of the best years of income in combination with the overall duration of
income above the social security threshold without any gender-specific rules. The
differences in pension amounts largely result from lower wages, from longer breaks in
employment, e.g. for childcare or for care of elderly relatives, and from the significantly
higher rate of female part-time work.
7.1.2 Other relevant issues
An important factor that contributes to the gender pension gap is the lower retirement age
of female employe es in the private sector (see also Section 7.5) which results in shorter
contribution periods and consequently in lower pensions. The lower pension age of women
also contributes to a greater impact of age discrimination on women in the labour market.
7.1.3 Overview of national Acts
Austria’s social security system is separated into statutory systems that cover health
insurance, old age pensions, occupational accidents and health risks, and disability
benefits according to the activity status of the insured person.
Employees and unemployed persons fall un der the scope of the General Social Security
Act (Allgemeines Sozialversicherung sgesetz, ASVG), which also covers mandatory health
insurance for pensioners.
Statutory social security for business persons and self-employed persons i s regulated in
the Trade and Industrial Social Security Act (Gewerbliches Sozialversicherungsgesetz,
GSVG) and for farmers in the Famers’ Social Security Act
Statutory health insurance for federal and provincial public servants is regulated by
specialised legislation (Beamten-Kranken- und Unfallversicherun gsgesetz, B-KUVG).
Employees have mandatory unemployment insurance under the Unemployment Insurance
Act (Arbeitslosenversicherungsgesetz, AlVG), which also offers an option for self-employed
All social security systems are contribution based with monthly contributions paid by both
employers and employees or by self-employed persons based on legally mandated
percentages of annual taxable earnings.
The personal scope of Article 2 is completely covered b y national legislation.
112 Official pension statistics published by Statistik Austria,
statistik/pensionen/index.html; see also European Commission (2013), The gender gap in pensions in the
EU, Luxembourg, p. 79, available at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-