If you have worked in several EU countries, you will have accumulated pension rights in each country.
When the time comes for you to claim your old-age pension, you normally have to apply in the country where you are living or in the country where you last worked. That country is then responsible for processing your claim and bringing together records of your pension contributions from all the countries you have worked in.
However, if you have never worked in the country where you now live, you should apply to the relevant authority in the last country where you worked. Your application will then be processed there.
In general, the rules that apply to old-age pensions also apply to invalidity pensions and survivors’ pensions.
The pension authority in the country where you live, or in the country where you last worked, should send you your pension application form about 4 months before you reach that country’s retirement age. If you have not received it by then, you should contact them.
The information and documents you have to provide when applying for an old-age pension vary from one country to another, but you will usually have to supply your bank details and some form of ID.
Calculating your pension
If you have worked in several EU countries, each country’s pension authority will first calculate your pension according to its own calculation rules, based on the contributions you have paid in that country (this is known as independent benefit).
Then each country adds together the periods of pension insurance cover from all countries and works out how much pension you would get if your contributions had all been paid into its own scheme. This amount is then adjusted to reflect the actual time you were covered in that country (this is the so-called pro rata benefit ).
The results of the national and the EU calculations are compared and you will receive whichever amount is the higher. You will receive a note giving you an overview of the decisions made by each country on your claim.
Supplementary pension rights
Supplementary pensions are retirement, survivors’ or invalidity pension schemes aimed at supplementing or replacing statutory state pensions.