Pension pitfalls

November 21, 2003

Alexander Wedderburn's problem of non-recognition of his Universities Superannuation Scheme pension by German universities (Letters, THES , November 14) matches mine, but in reverse.

I made my Germany-to-UK return more than 25 years ago - just after we joined the (then) European Economic Community. It proved to be very bad timing. Despite various assurances and dashed expectations, I have had to buy my "missing" five years as costly additional voluntary contributions. A colleague who left for Australia at the same time received his contributions as a cash payout. My deutschmark pension fund, very valuable at 1977 exchange rates, is now a dwindling pot in euros.

Even intra-EU academic mobility proves very costly - to the mobile if not their pension funders.

David Miller
University of Glasgow

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