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Commission projects pan-European pension plan

Following the principles agreed in this year’s Spring European Council, investing in knowledge and innovation, the European Commission introduced further measures to improve researchers’ working conditions, mobility and social security. By creating attractive career prospects for researchers the Commission aims to fight the brain drain of Europeans towards overseas labour markets, especially the US. The upgraded policy stresses the four priority points of  

    • systematically open recruitment;
    • meeting the social security and supplementary pensions needs of mobile researchers;
    • providing attractive employment and working conditions; and
    • enhancing the training, skills and experience of researchers.

On the point of social security and pensions, a proposal for a directive covering the portability of supplementary pension rights is currently under negotiation. However this is unlikely to address the "transferability" of such rights. In the meantime, the Commission wishes to explore the feasibility of measures to ease the transfer of supplementary pension rights for highly mobile workers, including researchers, and further states that pension providers should be encouraged to open up pan-EU pension schemes targeted at researchers and that companies should be encouraged to use pension providers in other EU member states.

As the report acknowledges, there is, at the moment, a lack of awareness among researchers and employers about their social security rights, which - in part - hinders the development of a pan-EU pension scheme.

Press release