Towards a European pension fund for researchers

By . Published on 25 September 2014 in:
News, September 2014, , , ,

The Swiss Contact Office for Research, Innovation and Education [Swiss Core] has recently published an update on one of the ongoing hot topics in European Research. e-EPS is reprinting the article with their permission. The orginal article can be found here.

Swiss Core

Swiss Core

A successful academic career in Europe entails a large degree of international mobility. From a European point of view and in the framework of the European Research Area [ERA], international mobility is often seen as a driver for excellence for research organisations as well as one of the key elements of the concept. However, until now, researchers moving from one country to another in Europe face numerous administrative barriers, none the least of which are non-harmonised national pension schemes. The Retirement Savings Vehicle for European Research Institutions [RESAVER] is seen as a mean for removing this burden.

RESAVER builds upon the 2003 European directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision [IORP] that makes the creation of cross-border pension funds possible. Since then, and following a feasibility study commissioned by the European Commission [EC] in 2009, the interests of research organisations in such a fund has risen. This interest led to the establishment of a task force in 2013 charged with the mission of exploring the feasibility of RESAVER as a financial and legal vehicle allowing researchers to move within the European Economic Area [EEA] while still being affiliated to the same pension fund. RESAVER would allow to ensure continuity of pension benefits accumulations as professionals move to different organisations and to different countries. The task force brought together the Technical University of Vienna, the universities of Gent and Cambridge, the Central European University, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, the Italian National Research Council, the European Organisation of Nuclear Research [CERN] as well as the European University Association [EUA] and the League of European Research Universities [LERU].

Following the recommendations of the task force, an ‘employer consortium’ will be established in September 2014 as an international not-for-profit organisation under Belgian law. The consortium will be in charge of establishing RESAVER, which should be fully operational in 2015 already. The task force members will most likely be member of the consortium as full members, while European interest organisations such as LERU and EUA would join as associate member. The RESAVER initial consortium will also most probably be extended to other organisations such as the Politecnico di Torino, the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research [CESAER] and the Russel Group. It is expected that the initial consortium will not accept any new full members at start in order to consolidate its organisation and be operational fast. Following this initial period, the consortium will be open to every employer in the EEA interested to join. With the establishment of RESAVER a first concrete measure favourising the mobility of researchers and thus the attractiveness of research careers in Europe will be taken.

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