Major contract to support new pan-EU pension fund
Brussels, 16 December 2014
The European Commission has made a key step on the way to establishing a new pan-European pension arrangement, designed to boost research mobility in Europe. It announced today (16 December 2014) the award of a four-year, €4 million framework contract in support of creating RESAVER (Retirement Savings Vehicle for European Research Institutions).
The contract for support services, awarded to Aon Belgium, follows the launch of the RESAVER consortium on 1 October (IP/14/1063). It will enable the consortium to launch a single European pension arrangement in 2015 and roll it out across the European Economic Area by 2018.
Once put in place, the initiative would mean that researchers could move freely without having to worry about preserving their supplementary pension benefits. The tailor-made scheme will assist employers in attracting researchers in an increasingly competitive environment. By participating in RESAVER, employers will be able to sponsor a single European pension arrangement capable of delivering:
- Cross-border pooling of pension plans;
- Continuity of the accumulation of pension benefits as professionals move between different organisations and countries during their career;
- Lower overhead costs (and therefore improved member benefits) through economies of scale;
- Access to high quality investments regardless of the country where the employee is based (where legally possible), thereby improving overall member benefits;
- A pan-European risk pooling solution covering death benefits;
- A centralised portal for tracking and administering pension contribution.
The initiative will help get closer to the European Research Area (ERA), a true 'single market for research'. The second ERA Progress Report, published on 16 September 2014 (IP/14/1003), confirmed that researcher mobility has serious benefits. For example, the research impact of researchers who have moved between countries is nearly 20% higher than those who have not. They generate more knowledge, which in turn means bigger benefits to the economy.
Mobility of researchers is a driver of excellence in research. Nevertheless, researchers currently face many difficulties in preserving their supplementary pension benefits when moving between different countries. To overcome this problem, the European Commission conducted a feasibility study in 2010 on a Pan-European pension arrangement for researchers. Following the feasibility study, the Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation invited a group of interested employers and employer representatives to prepare the ground for the establishment of what has become known as “Retirement Savings Vehicle for European Research Institutions” or RESAVER.
The initiative was singled out as a priority in the 2012 Communication on ERA, in which the European Commission pledged to "support stakeholders in setting up pan-European supplementary pension fund(s) for researchers".
On 1 October 2014, a group of committed employers took the first concrete step towards creating the pan-European pension arrangement by creating the RESAVER consortium. The Consortium will formally set up the pension arrangement with first contribution being paid in 2015. The four-year framework contract awarded by the Commission today will cover the initial set-up costs.
For more information
- RESAVER website on EURAXESS
- ERA Progress Report 2014
- For information on membership issues, please contact the RESAVER secretariat at RTD-PENSION-FUND@ec.europa.eu