EU Parliament Passes Portable Pensions Law

By Editorial 18 April, 2014

The European Parliament has passed a draft law that will allow workers who have been part of a supplementary pension scheme for at least three years to maintain their entitlement if they move to another EU member state.

Current EU rules protect the statutory pension rights of workers who move between member states, but these provisions do not apply to pension schemes that are financed or co-financed by employers. This has meant that workers have risked losing entitlements they have accrued in one member state, if the state to which they move deems that they were not built up over a long enough period. Members of European Parliament added a clause stipulating that cross-border workers must also benefit from the same level of protection.

The draft still needs to be formally approved by the Council of Ministers, and member states will have four years to put it into effect.

Rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten said that the passing of the draft text was "a big step forwards for the free movement of workers and a boost for a social Europe." She added: "a good pension is a necessity now that Europeans can expect to live much longer."

Legislation on the issue was first tabled by the European Commission in 2005, and was revised in 2007. It was then blocked due to differences between pension schemes in different member states, and the need for a unanimous vote. However, the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty opened the way for the draft to pass by a qualified majority vote and prompted renewed negotiations.

Tags: European Commission | European Union (EU) | Expats | Pensions | Europe | Pensions |


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