Pension Rights and Entitlement Conversion (‘Invaren’): Lessons from a Dutch Perspective with Regard to the Implications of the EU Charter
European Journal of Social Security, 2016, 18, 1
28 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2016 Last revised: 29 Apr 2016
Date Written: March 21, 2016
This article discusses issues regarding ‘conversion’, in particular the transformation of second pillar pension rights and entitlements. It considers the different European law regimes that are an influence on conversion, namely EU law and the law regarding the European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter ECHR). The central question here is: would the outcome be different when conversion is tested under EU law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (hereinafter ‘the Charter’) rather than under ECHR law? The answer seems to be ‘yes’. This article demonstrates that EU law and the Charter may offer the pensioner different and possibly more extensive protection, inter alia, against governmental measures than the ECHR. EU law may also have a direct horizontal effect, i.e. the article might be invoked directly against a pension fund. In addition, the test of fundamental rights in the Charter and the ECHR may have entirely different outcomes. More generally, an alleged breach of Article 17 of the Charter must also be reviewed in the light of the EU’s economic and social objectives. These objectives are not, as such, part of the ECHR. It is difficult to predict whether a claim, based on Article 17 by an individual against a Member State and/or a relevant pension fund would be successful. Infringement of pension entitlements has not yet been tested against the Charter.
Keywords: IORP, EU. ECHR, Property Rights
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