Any colleague contemplating a post at a German university should look carefully at their pension rights.
When I took up my appointment in Munich, I was assured that my years of service in the UK would be taken fully into account when assessing my pension. I could expect to receive at least as much as a German colleague who had served a similar number of years in Germany.
Since then, however, the European Commission has issued a directive that prevents those with pension rights in two countries from simply adding them together and getting a pension at a higher rate than that which obtains in either of those countries.
This has been interpreted and used by the German government to mean that time spent in a university outside Germany cannot be taken into account at all. That means that I would be entitled to only a minimum pension here and that, even when that minimum is combined with my Universities Superannuation Scheme entitlement, I would receive only about two-thirds of the equivalent German pension.
It is presumably for the EC to decide whether this interpretation is legal and desirable, but it is certainly a very serious barrier to mobility.
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich