EUROPE - The European Parliament has voted on standards to make supplementary pensions transferable between companies and EU countries.
The directive aims to facilitate workers' mobility by setting minimum standards for the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights, and make them more portable.
According to the first-reading of the report by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the directive will apply to all schemes that offer supplementary pensions for workers, such as group insurance contracts and pay-as-you-go schemes.
However, the new conditions shall not refer to schemes that have stopped accepting new active members.
It is expected the directive will be adopted by all member states no later than 1 July 2008.
The conditions for the acquisition of rights includes minimum standards for acquiring supplementary pension rights.
In practice, this means they set a maximum "vesting" period of five years i.e. after five years in a job, employees will have acquired rights that have to be paid or preserved after the termination of their employment.
Moreover, no vesting conditions shall be applied to members of a scheme once they have reached the age of 25.
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