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Safeguarding supplementary pension rights

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Safeguarding supplementary pension rights

This Directive is intended to remove obstacles to the free movement of employed and self-employed persons, while safeguarding their supplementary pension rights when moving from one Member State to another. This protection concerns both voluntary and compulsory pension schemes , with the exception of social security schemes covered by Regulation (EC) No 883/2004.


Council Directive 98/49/EC of 29 June 1998 on safeguarding the supplementary pension rights of employed and self-employed persons moving within the Community.


This Directive applies to members of supplementary pension schemes and others holding entitlement under such schemes who have acquired or are in the process of acquiring rights in one or more Member States.

This Directive provides for four main measures to safeguard the supplementary pension rights of workers moving within the Community:

Equality of treatment as regards preservation of pension rights

Member States must, for persons who have left a supplementary pension scheme as a consequence of going to work in another Member State, take the necessary measures to ensure the preservation of vested pension rights to the same extent as for persons in respect of whom contributions are no longer being made but who remain within the same Member State.

Directive 2014/50/EU, which must be incorporated in EU countries' national laws by 21.5.2018, ensures that anyone with supplementary pension rights does not lose out when they go to live or work in another EU country. It requires that:

  • supplementary pension rights be guaranteed after 3 years of employment at the latest. If a minimum age is required, it must not be higher than 21 years;
  • the rights of workers who leave an occupational pension scheme before retirement be preserved and treated like those who remain in the scheme on matters such as indexation.

Cross-border payments

Member States shall ensure that supplementary pension schemes make payment in other Member States, net of any taxes and transaction charges, of all benefits due under these supplementary schemes.

Posted workers and supplementary pensions

Posted workers have the option of remaining within the pension scheme in their country of origin during the period of posting in another Member State. Posted workers and, where applicable, their employers are thus exempted from any obligation to make contributions to a supplementary pension scheme in another Member State.

Information to scheme members

Employers, trustees or others responsible for the management of supplementary pension schemes shall provide adequate information to scheme members, when they move to another Member State, as to their pension rights and the choices which are available to them under the scheme.

Under Directive 2014/50/EU, workers in a supplementary pension scheme can ask how stopping employment or moving would affect their supplementary pension rights and the conditions that would apply to the future treatment of those rights.

People who have left the scheme must be informed about the value and treatment of their rights.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 98/49/EC



OJ L 209 of 25.7.1998


Green Paper of 7 July 2010 towards adequate, sustainable and safe European pension systems [COM(2010) 365 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

Directive 2014/50/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum requirements for enhancing worker mobility between Member States by improving the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights (Official Journal L 128 of 30.4.2014).

Last updated: 04.08.2014