The German-initiated pensions platform for researchers is to be rolled out as a pilot project in Germany from early next year, as the EU steps up efforts to gather intelligence on national pensions-tracking systems, including one to be introduced imminently in Austria.

‘Find your pension’ – a platform for academic researchers – will go live next year, having collected information on pension systems in 10 countries to date. 

Claudia Wegner-Wahnschaffe, project manager for the platform, told IPE: “That means we have so far covered almost 60% of those working in the education and research field in the public and university sectors within the EU and the EEA, according to Eurostat figures.

“With a low budget, we managed to collect important information via our network but without the exchange of sensitive data.”

The project will be presented at universities, as well as through advisers, and, in Switzerland, the board of university principals has recommended it to its member institutions.

Wegner-Wahnschaffe said large Swiss pension funds such as Publica and schemes for the cantons of Bern and Zurich had already contributed information and factsheets. Finland and Spain are expected to join the platform in the near future, while Norway has expressed interest in integrating its own research staff.

Wegner-Wahnschaffe said the platform would serve as “a first step in helping people to achieve the sort of pensions literacy that is vital for academic employees, as well as others”.

However, within the European pensions industry – particularly in German – there have been some concerns regarding the possible introduction of an EU-wide pensions-tracking system and the collection of data connected with it. 

Meanwhile, the EU is stepping up efforts to prepare just such a service.

At the annual PensionsEurope conference in Frankfurt, Titus Sips, a consultant at APG and one of the people responsible for the EU’s TTYPE project, confirmed the working group was currently looking into national pensions-tracking services.

“In the end, we are going to come up with a design, looking into how a tracking service in Europe can be established,” he said.

One of the systems he will be assessing is the ‘Pensionskonto’ in Austria.

From next year, Austrians born after 1954 will be able to use the system to see what they can expect from the state pension.

The Austrian supplementary pensions industry hopes the platform will serve as a wake-up call for people to start saving for their retirement.

Sips added that TTYPE – short for ‘Track and trace your pension in Europe’ – is working with the actuarial association Groupe Consultatif, which issued a report on pensions-tracking services in October and is now preparing a survey of EU member states’ attitudes towards tracking systems.