Daniel Freund

5. May 2023 Democracy

EU pension fund on the edge of bankruptcy: No more taxpayer euros to bail out these supplementary pensions!

The so-called “Voluntary Pension Fund” currently has a deficit of at least 300 million euros. It could become bancrupt as early as next year. A paper on the massive imbalance of the fund was presented to the Presidium of the European Parliament. 

The pension fund is a little-known supplementary pension for MEPs from the years 1990 to 2009. At that time, MEPs could pay into this pension fund. The contributions were tripled by the European Parliament. With only a few years of contributions, lifelong pension payments of several thousand euros per month were possible – in addition to already existing pension entitlements from other sources. This leads to the absurd situation that some current EU commissioners, but also British lords and well-supplied former European politicians enjoy lavish supplementary pensions. Since the fund is now on the verge of bankruptcy, it is to be discussed whether it should be bailed out with tax money. Currently, there are still around 900 former MEPs in the fund.

On behalf of the Green Group in the European Parliament, I have now tabled a motion for the upcoming plenary session calling on all beneficiaries of the fund to leave if they already have sufficient pension entitlements from other sources. According to research by the Tagesspiegel, prominent members of the fund are EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell, British politician Nigel Farage and French right-wing populist Marine Le Pen.

Daniel Freund, for the Greens in the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee, comments:

“We Greens have been calling for the end of this fund for 20 years. Here, with almost criminal energy, a system was set up that was doomed to bankruptcy from the start. For years to come, a number of lords, commissioners and MPs will be paid over €2,000 per month from taxpayers’ money in addition to existing pensions. Parliament must prevent this at all cost. Not a single taxpayer euro should be wasted in this fund. It should be checked in each individual case whether there are already other claims from a public pension – if so (and this should be the case for virtually all of them) they should not receive any payments from the fund that exceed the money they have paid in.

You can find the detailed research by Investigate Europe under the following link:


Not a single taxpayer euro should be wasted in this fund.


35,000 lobbyists are attempting to influence EU laws. Commissioners switch position into the private sector. MPs work as lobbyists on a part-time basis. From my time at Transparency International I know that the EU is still better than the member states in many respects.  However, there is also a need for far more transparency in the EU.