Pension Tracking System

Pension Tracking System
By ITEM

Start of research on the cross-border pension tracking service regarding the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

ITEM will prepare the substantive fundamentals for an online cross-border pension tracking service by which citizens of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium will have a mutual overview of their foreign built up pensions in the other State (also mentioned in a press release in October 2015) . In view of the continuously growing group of cross-border workers, the issue on the limited insight on foreign entitlements becomes more important.
As of  June 1st, Sander Kramer started as a researcher at ITEM with this research, supervised by Anouk Bollen, director of ITEM and Professor of cross-border pension tax law, and Lisa Brüggen, ITEM-researcher and Associate professor at the School of Business and Economics (SBE).

The current field of pensions is mainly nationally orientated. Also the existing pension registers and pension communication in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are mainly nationally focused. This means that only insight is provided into domestic pension entitlements. Currently, pension beneficiaries have limited insight into foreign built up pension entitlements. In view of the continuously growing group of cross-border workers, the issue on the limited insight on foreign entitlements becomes more important. Ideally, when reaching the pensionable age, cross-border workers should have an accumulated overview of all their monthly pension payments, including foreign pension payments after taxes. Mainly because of the complexity and significant differences between the three different pension systems, such an accumulated pension overview is hardly feasible. This lack of a cross-border pension overview could possibly impede the mobility of labor.

The objective of this pension tracking service is versatile but mainly set on providing insight into the foreign pension payments. By means of this overview, citizens themselves can determine whether they have sufficient pension income in case they stop working. Furthermore, the citizens will be provided with an overview of possible solutions for their insufficient pension income, e.g. by insuring pension by means of individual pension products or otherwise save money for retirement or determine whether they should extend their working period.

The underlying interdisciplinary PhD-research serves a twofold purpose. Since citizens preferably have an overview of their monthly pension payments after taxes, insight should be gained into the pension law and tax law aspects of this cross-border pension register. The pension systems and corresponding fiscal laws and regulations are complex and not harmonized. Therefore, getting an overview of these pension systems and making them comparable, is one of the main research objectives. Besides this, research will be done on aspects regards behavioral economics and pension communication. In this part of the research questions are discussed like what pension information should be shown, how should the information be layered and which purposes are served with the pension information? These insights guarantee the effectiveness of the pension information and the pension register as such.

The relevance of this research is growing, due to the growing group ‘high potentials’, knowledge workers and cross-border workers. In 2014 almost 80.000 residents from Belgium and Germany, worked in the Netherlands. In 2013, 7 million European citizens were mobile: working in another state than their resident state. The research will help enhancing this labor mobility and contributes to the TTYPE Project, Track and Trace Your Pension in Europe, the initiative of the European Commission on a European pension tracking service.

If you have any questions or remarks regarding this research, please feel free to contact Sander Kramer (sander.kramer@maastrichtuniversity.nl).