Newsletter #25 – Nov 2017

Transfer-out of pension rights

We are regularly contacted with questions on transfers-in of pension rights (from MS schemes to the EU pension scheme). It is unfortunately difficult to provide definite answers as each case is specific and each MS has its own complex pension system (France alone has 37 different pension schemes, although Macron has announced his wish to merge all the schemes into a single one – good luck!). Essentially everything we wrote in our special issue on pensions remains valid. In particular, transfers-in have become rather unattractive since the introduction of a new conversion coefficient on 1 Jan 2009 (coefficient that converts the capital that you transfer-in into a number of years of seniority in the EU pension scheme). Continue reading Transfer-out of pension rights

Sustainable mobility in Brussels

OIB and DG HR released earlier this month the results of their latest staff survey on mobility. Some interesting results, albeit somewhat disappointing: the number of cyclists and people walking to work has increased but this seems to be at the expense of the number of people using public transport rather than at the expense of private cars. This suggests that the institutions could do more to encourage people to give up their private cars. The current incentive is limited to a 50% subsidy on season STIB and SNCB passes, basically a few ten euros per month. Cyclists also get access to free parking and showers (in most buildings) but no lockers (with a few exceptions) to store spare clothes and a towel. Pedestrians get nothing, despite having to pay presumably higher rents/mortgages in order to live close to their office. Continue reading Sustainable mobility in Brussels

Family Budget Survey starts this week in Brussels

The following calculation is used to compute the above-mentioned JBLI:

  • Sub-indices of the official inflations rates (Belgian Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices and Luxembourgish Consumer Price Index) are aggregated together using a weighting of approximately 80:20 according to how many staff members are based in Belgium and in Luxembourg.
  • The sub-indices are then aggregated together using expenditure structures (share of the total expenditure that can be attributed to each sub-index) for staff families working in Brussels.

Continue reading Family Budget Survey starts this week in Brussels

Annual Salary Adjustment

Eurostat has recently published the Report on the 2017 annual update of remuneration and pensions of EU officials. This year’s pay rise will amount to 1.5% according to the so-called “method” for salary adjustments, calculated for 1 July 2017 retroactively. This increase consists in 1.1% compensation for inflation in Belgium and Luxembourg (Joint Belgium-Luxembourg Index – JBLI) and 0.4% aggregated increase in real net remuneration of civil servants in a basket of 11 Member States. Interestingly, one of these Member States is the UK, who contributed with -0.2 %. Continue reading Annual Salary Adjustment

Report on the social dialogue at the Commission

Commissioner Oettinger met the staff representation on 20 October. Apart from a surprisingly long intervention of the Commissioner on the departure of Mr. Kessler from OLAF, the meeting was essentially business as usual. Generation 2004 maintained its request that the draft decision of the Commission on the so-called external activities be amended so that CA3bs quickly receive the green light allowing them to take up a new job outside of the institutions after the end of their contract (currently, CA3bs are supposed to ask for permission 1 month before accepting a new job; Continue reading Report on the social dialogue at the Commission

Brexit and Staff Cuts

The prospects for the EU and the UK reaching an agreement on the financial settlement of Brexit do not look good at the moment. Among many other issues, the issue of the UK contribution to the payment of our pensions is a topic of debate (See copy of Times article– obviously, the article makes no distinction between the extremely generous pensions of staff recruited before the 2004 reform of the Staff Regulations and the rest of the staff). Continue reading Brexit and Staff Cuts

Britain faces soaring cost of Brussels pensions | News | The Times

The devil is in the details
or how public is made to believe that post-2004 recruits are responsible for increased cost of EU pensions

 Brexit negotiations have become a favourite topic for the press all around the EU nowadays, and the issue on UK contribution to the payment of EU pensions occupies a central place in the debate. Within the myriad of publications, our attention was caught by an article in The Times titled “Britain is fighting a £10 billion demand to fund the rising pensions bill for retired Eurocrats after Brexit.” Continue reading Britain faces soaring cost of Brussels pensions | News | The Times