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Press release

Parliament and Council negotiators close deal on keeping pension rights abroad

Social policy - 26-11-2013 - 19:13
Committee : Employment and Social Affairs
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EP and member state negotiators reached agreement on Tuesday afternoon on rules to allow EU workers who move to a different EU country to safeguard their supplementary pension rights. Negotiations had been deadlocked in Council for six years.

"European workers can now enjoy full pension rights when they move to another Member State. The legislation will help to eliminate barriers to the free movement of workers", said rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, NL)

Statutory pension rights, i.e. those provided by the state, for people working in another member state, are already secured under EU law. However, equivalent protection for supplementary pension schemes, i.e. occupational pensions financed or co-financed by employers, has not been established until now and individuals who move between member states have run the risk of losing entitlements built up over a period not deemed long enough.

Shorter period of affiliation

Under the new rules, the "vesting period", i.e. the period of active membership of a scheme needed for a person to keep supplementary pension entitlements, must not exceed three years.

Scope of the legislation


The legislation applies to EU workers who move within the EU, but also, at Parliament’s insistence, to cross-border workers.


The deal sets 4-year deadline for transposing the directive into national law.

Next steps

The informal deal still has to be endorsed by member states’ permanent representatives (COREPER) and the Employment Committee as a whole before going to plenary.


The text was presented by the European Commission in 2005 and revised in 2007. Parliament’s first reading took place in 2007. The legislation was then blocked in the Council for six years, due to differences among member states' pension schemes and the unanimous vote requirement. The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty meant the text could be put to a qualified majority vote, enabling negotiations to resume.

Procedure: codecision, early second reading agreement

REF.: 20131126IPR26750