EUROPE - The European Parliament's Employment Committee has endorsed a proposed directive to enable workers to take their supplementary pensions with them as they move between and within member states.
Stating that demographic change and population ageing made supplementary pension schemes “an increasingly important way to secure decent living standards in old age”, the directive aims to set minimum standards that will make pensions more portable.
Among the standards set by MEPs was a maximum “vesting” period for employees of five years and the mandatory reimbursement of pension contributions in the case that an employee leaves a job before acquiring vested pension rights.
The directive, which should be adopted be member states no later than 1 July 2008, would apply to all schemes offering supplementary pensions for workers, for example: group insurance contracts, pay-as-you-go schemes agreed by one or more branches or sectors, funded schemes or pension promises backed by book reserves.
The new conditions wouldn’t refer to schemes that have stopped accepting new active members.
The directive has thus far been the subject of a first-reading report and the European parliament plans to put this report to a plenary vote on 24 April 2007.
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