The Pillar sets out a right for everyone who lacks sufficient resources to access minimum income benefits. In the case of people who are able to work, benefits should be combined with incentives to (re)integrate into the labour market. It goes beyond the 1992 Minimum Income Recommendation by explicitly stating the right to a minimum income that ensures a life in dignity. The concept of "minimum income", pointing to a specific form of benefit, is used explicitly for the first time, replacing the more generic terms such as "social assistance" or "sufficient resources".
Minimum income aims at preventing destitution of people who are not eligible for social insurance benefits, or whose entitlement to such benefits has expired, thus combating poverty and social exclusion. Such benefits should also ensure a life in dignity at all stages of life combined with effective access to enabling services. They are non-contributory, universal and means-tested. They require people to be available for work or participate in community activities, if the individuals are capable.
An important element of ensuring incentives to work is that the design of the benefit should be consistent with other benefits and preserve financial incentives to take up a job and therefore avoid minimum income beneficiaries to be trapped in inactivity. Such incentives can take the form of requiring the person receiving the benefit to make use of employment services, which together with other enabling services can support labour market reintegration.