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Decent pensions for all - 22/01/2008

Two old ladies sitting on a bench

In some EU countries, if you change jobs or go and work abroad, you risk losing pension benefits.

Under some supplementary pension schemes, you have to pay in for at least two years before you are entitled to receive any benefits. Many Europeans may be losing out in schemes with long minimum contribution periods, because more than 40% of the European workforce stay less than five years in the same job. This is the finding of two independent studies published by the European commission on 22 January.

The loss of pension rights is a real obstacle to working abroad. To make it easier for workers who move around to take their pensions with them, the commission has drafted new legislation for portable pensions. The Slovenian presidency would like to see it adopted by the end of June.

In the coming decades, Europe will be forced to confront the major challenge posed by its ageing population and the need for sustainable pension systems. The EU is encouraging its member countries to push ahead with reforms to meet three broad objectives:

Find out more about European action on pensions.

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