Towards a pension tracking service for mobile EU workers
The EU has taken another step towards a transnational pension tracking service designed for the growing amount of people working in more than just one EU country. For this category of workers to be able to get a better idea of how much pension they have accumulated, in 2019 a pilot project was set up with Belgian pension data.
Recently, at the ETS conference in Berlin, European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit voiced his commitment to see this project through. German Secretary of State for Labor Affairs, Ralf Smachtenberg, announced that the German Tracking Services will be launched by the end of 2022 and confirmed it to be only a matter of time that it will ascend to the ETS. National Tracking Services from France, The Netherlands and Denmark voiced their support of the project and a step-by-step implementation phase.
PGGM has been an active supporter of the ETS-project since its development started nine years ago, because it fitted in a positive European agenda. In this project we were joined by APG, Belgian social security databank Sigedis, the Belgian Federal Pension Agency, the Swedish Pensions Agency, the Swedish tracking service Minpension.se, German public sector pension provider VBL and European paritarian organization AEIP.
From 2013 onwards, PGGM and its European partners have been examining the needs of members of pension funds and citizens for an ETS and the form in which it should be presented. After five years of preparation, the ETS project started in 2018, when the European Commission called for the “development of web-based cross-border pension tracking services that help mobile workers follow their pension rights accrued in different Member States and pension schemes in the course of their career”.
This call responded to the notion that providing pension information on a national level only, is limiting the mobility of European workers. Traditionally, pension rules and regulations vary among European member states, making pension tracking an untransparent and complicated affair for mobile workers. ETS aims to help European citizens and beneficiaries find their pension, inform them about the different pension systems in Europe and to help them access their pensions from funds and national systems that they are entitled to. This all resulted in a proof of concept ETS that had been successfully tested in Belgium.
The current ETS, which can be found on findyourpension.eu, has three main functions. It has a pension tracker that can help mobile workers to find their pension in previous countries of employment. The second function is the pension compass. This helps mobile workers to acquire more tailored country specific information on where there pension is located and how to access it.
A third function enables mobile workers to make a personalized pension action plan and shows them in a comprehensible way what steps they need to take in order to secure it. These three functions will be elaborated further in the coming years.
The next steps for the ETS project will focus on the optimization of the services. From 2023 onwards, ETS will continue as a permanent association to further develop the Find Your Pension Portal. They will look at improving the customer experience, fulfilling the data transition and setting up the best practices exchange. It should lead to a platform where users can find all their cross-border pension data and info in one place.
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