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In Vienna, the gap is the smallest, while in the federal state of Vorarlberg, it is the biggest

Equal Pension Day in Austria highlights 41% gender pay gap

Equal Pension Day in Austria highlights 41% gender pay gap

According to experts, this is because many women do most of the unpaid work like taking care of relatives and raising children

On 3 August, Austrian authorities marked the occasion of Equal Pension Day – the day where on average a man has received as much money from the pension system as a woman would for the entire year. As an official statement by local authorities in Vienna, this shows the huge gender pay gap in the pension system, around 41%, which is largely the result of women doing most of the unpaid work.

Thomas Weninger, Secretary General of the Association of Cities, explained that this means looking after relatives, taking care of children and doing housework. He continued by pointing out that many women, especially in the pension system, have had to work part-time while being caregivers, while maternity leave has generally put a hamper on most women’s careers.

He continued by saying that all this really means in practical terms is that elderly women are much more at risk of poverty, as he pointed to the fact that COVID-19 affected women more as well. The Austrian pension system is based on full employment without career breaks, which is something women are particularly vulnerable to.

Things are improving, but some federal states lag behind

According to official data, the situation in Austria is improving, as the Equal Pension Day has been slipping later and later in the year, while the percentage gap has been shrinking. Just in 2021, the gap was calculated at 41.58%, while in 2022, it shrank to 41.06%.

At the same time, the pension system is a sort of reflection of the gender pay gap in the past, as people who used to earn more during their entire work life receive bigger pensions. Things have improved though, as last year’s Equal Pay Day in Austria, the equivalent date for current employees, was on 25 October.

Furthermore, there are big disparities in the different federal states, as Equal Pension Day is marked between 9 July (in Vorarlberg) and 9 September (in Vienna).

Here is the data from Austria’s states, as well as a comparison with Equal Pension Day in 2015:

  • Vienna: 21 August 2015 – 9 September 2022;
  • Carinthia: 2 August 2015 – 6 August 2022;
  • Austria’s average: 26 July 2015 – 3 August;
  • Lower Austria: 21 July 2015. – 31 July 2022;
  • Salzburg: 25 July 2015 – 31 July 2022;
  • Burgenland: 15 July 2015 – 29 July 2022;
  • Styria: 21 July 2015 – 27 July 2022;
  • Tyrol: 10 July 2015 – 22 July 2022;
  • Upper Austria: 7 July 2015 – 14 July 2022;
  • Vorarlberg: 3 July 2015 – 9 July 2022.

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