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No more loss of pension rights in the EU. Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP


09 Jul 2013


Social Europe & Jobs

Europeans should no longer lose supplementary pension rights when they work abroad. The Employment Committee in the European Parliament today confirmed its position on the Directive improving the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights.

Some occupational pension schemes impose long vesting periods. This means workers do not derive any benefit from a pension scheme until they have paid a minimum number of years. Some Member States have vesting periods of 5 or 10 years, so an employee who works in the same company in those Member States for 4.5 years doesn’t receive any pension! In some Member States, you can only start building up a pension from the age of 25 onwards. The Directive aims to lower these vesting periods and the minimum age for joining a pension scheme.

"I am glad that after all these years, the Council came up with a general approach", said Rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten MEP. The general approach limits vesting periods to 3 years. The minimum age for starting the vesting of pension rights may not exceed 21 years.

"This is a step in the right direction. The present age requires a mobile and flexible approach from both employers as employees. I firmly believe that mobile workers no longer need to be discouraged by the pension issue."

The Directive only focuses on cases of labour mobility between EU Member States. Ria Oomen-Ruijten concluded: "I think it is discriminatory to only apply lower vesting periods for external mobile workers and not for internal mobile workers. They should be treated in the same way. I will fight for this in the trilogue with the Council."

The European Council reached a general approach on the Directive on 20 June. It relates to a European Commission proposal dating back to 2005 on which the Parliament adopted its first reading in 2007. Since then, the proposal has remained blocked in the Council.


For further information:

Ria OOMEN-RUIJTEN MEP, tel.: +32 (0)2 2845863

Cornelis Bos, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, tel: +32-470-073183


Note to Editors

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 275 Members from 27 Member States.