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TRAPEZ: Transparent pension future – securing women’s economic independence in old age

The Gender Pay Gap, i.e. the differences between the averages wages of women and men, in Austria is quite high compared to the European average. These differences are also impacting pensions: the average women’s pensions are more than 38% lower than men’s. Based inter alia on a high female part-time employment rate, longer interruptions of working life and sector-specific differences in wages this leads to a significant higher risk of poverty for female pensioners compared to men.

The Directorate Women and Equality in the Austrian Federal Chancellery carries out the EU-co funded project "TRAPEZ – transparent pension future – securing women’s economic independence in old age" (Transparente Pensionszukunft. Sicherung der ökonomischen Unabhängigkeit von Frauen im Alter) from 1 February 2019 through 31 July 2020, in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, the Austrian Institute for Economic Research WIFO and with the Working Life Research Centre FORBA.

TRAPEZ aims at a thorough analysis of the Austrian Gender Gap in Pensions (GGP), and at highlighting possible options for actions to reduce the GGP and to improve the independent security of women in old age in four subprojects:

Trapez.Analysis

In this subproject, two studies are carried out by WIFO and FORBA respectively. The quantitative research conducted by WIFO will calculate and analyse the Gender Pension Gap in Austria, and study the underlying factors and its effects in a decomposition of the gap. FORBA’s qualitative research aims at identifying the state of knowledge, the individual perceptions and the possibilities of actions among the target group of employed women to secure their pension entitlements. A synthesis research report including proposals and recommendations will be published by the end of 2019.

Trapez.Forecast

Since 2015, advance pension account notifications are sent out to persons who will reach statutory pension age within the next five years. The evaluation of these notifications carried out within Trapez.Forecast will examine possibilities for adaptation of the notification regarding contents and recipients.

Trapez.Companies

This subproject will develop a toolbox with and for companies to increase awareness on the GGP on company level as well as on possibilities to secure pensions for employees, esp. women. Practical tools for different stakeholders on company level (such as HR officers, management or works councils) will allow companies to support their (female) employees in securing their pension entitlements.

Trapez.Public

The TRAPEZ-project will be accompanied by targeted measures of information and awareness-raising in the general public, among employed women and companies as well as among other stakeholders, including by events and publications.

This project and its website are supported by the "Rights, Equality, Citizenship“ Programme of the European Union."