The obligativity to participate in the social security system is a means to guarantee the social protection by the state of each of its citizen. More and more countries admit that their pension systems are in a crisis. Yet each country has its own set of problems and the adopted reforms reflect exactly the specific concerns of that country. In several countries of the European Union, one of the problems faced by the present pension systems is of a demographic nature.
The pension systems are very generous, they replace the previous earnings at high rates, up to 70-80% in some of the cases, and the full-pension retirement age has decreased along the years, from 65 to 62 years old, or even below. At the same time the active population has grown, as well as the number of pensioners, people live longer, they have fewer children and consequently there are more elder consumers and less young producers.
The basic meaning of the word pension in all languages of Latin origin is provision for food and dwelling. The same word is used to designate keeping a person in an institution, or payment for a person's accommodation in a hotel or similar place.