The European Union launched a new consortium yesterday (October 1) that aims to found a new pan-European pension arrangement which will in turn boost mobility of researchers throughout the continent. Once operational, the new RESAVER project is hoped to encourage researchers to move freely without having to worry about keeping their supplementary pension benefits. The consortium wants to establish the new pension arrangement next year. Under the new scheme, researchers will remain affiliated to the same pension fund even when moving to different countries and changing jobs. The EU will cover the initial set-up costs in a four-year framework contract.
The consortium will have a non-profit character and will be registered in Belgium. The founding members are the Central European University in Budapest, Central European Research Infrastructure Consortium (CERIC-ERIC), Elettra – Sincrotrone Trieste S.C.p.A, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Technical University of Vienna, and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU).
EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, commented that the EU had worked really hard to make the free movement of knowledge easier, which is why the 80-billion-euro project Horizon 2020 was launched in the first place. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn added that “pensions are a serious barrier to free movement, but today that barrier has begun to crumble. I strongly encourage research organizations across Europe to join the consortium.”
Under RESAVER, employers will be able to sponsor one single pension arrangement, which will be in a very flexible retirement savings product corresponding to the specific needs of the research community. It will include “tools” such as cross-border pooling of pension funds, lower overhead costs, a pan-European risk pooling solution, or the continuity of the accumulation of pension benefits. The initiative is believed to create a true ‘single market for research’ that will eventually become the “European Research Area”.