Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Is there scenarios today where workers can get to low or no pension after working in several countries? In effect, does national pensions for example demand that you stay in that country to get a pension.

Yes, and yes.

I have a family member who has worked in basic science in three of the four Nordic countries and (briefly) in Germany. That is to say, in public sector jobs with (supposedly, allegedly) secure pensions. They get absolutely bupkis from one of those three states, and barely a pittance from the other two.

And that's just within the Nordics. Heaven alone knows how it would work - or not, as I suspect the case may be - for someone working equal parts of his life in France, Poland and Germany...

The other way around, is there pensions that can be received after only a few years work today? Can you work a couple of years in five different countries and collect five pensions designed to cover basic costs? Does this risk punishing states with generous public pensions?

Proving a negative is always hard, but my distinct impression is no.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 21st, 2010 at 08:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, without introducing a federal pension plan it should be possible to create co-operation by making pension payments transferable between public pensions  to facilitate working in different member states. I assume most public pensions works by withholding a part of your salary and your final pension depends somewhat on total amount withheld. Would transfers work, or is there a better mechanism?

Not that I am against a federal public pension plan, but I think under current management it is easier to get something by pushing for incremental improvement of existing national public pensions.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 at 05:31:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll need some sort of streamlining. Some pension systems have the employer pay into a (private or public) pension fund. Others are based solely on the number of years you have worked. Yet others are based on the number of years you have lived in a country, or been a citizen of the country.

Being able to transfer pensions across borders would, perhaps, help (or it would create a carry trade in which pensions adjusted for high cost of living countries are taken to low cost of living countries, which may or may not be a good thing). But some harmonisation will be necessary to make the system practical.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 at 06:00:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm starting to think about getting around to informing myself about this question, as I would like to have my early working years in New Zealand credited to my French retirement (in case I should wish to stop working before age 68).

What I hear is that it's quite feasible, as long as I can dream up some pay slips or something. It's a matter of bilateral agreements. Is France unusually good in this respect? Why would the Scandies, in particular, be so lousy on this question?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 at 07:01:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I took my Finnish pension a couple of years ago at 65, but continue to run my company - though with far less pressure to find new business. I take a small salary to cover the company benefits I still receive.

When I talked to my pension fund about 'retiring' they were very helpful, and also indicated at what levels I could still receive personal income (royalties, voiceovers etc) without getting tax penalised. They also asked if I'd had a pension scheme in England. All I could recall was that there were some irregular payments - I was working as a freelance director-cameraman during the period. I didn't think those payments would be significant.

My pension provider did all the legwork, found my pension in England and I now get an additional monthly sum.

I have nothing but praise for the service that was provided.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 at 07:27:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd bet part of the problem for smaller countries is that the odds of a bilateral agreement being signed would increase with the sizes of the countries - France-Germany being much better in that respect than, say, Finland - Malta ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 at 08:00:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series