The “Austrian backpack” has been on the Spanish political agenda for more than a decade. The so-called Austrian backpack generates an individual savings account, and it is the employer who mainly contributes to it. These contributions “accompany” the employee throughout his working life, regardless of where he works, and can be redeemed by him both in case of dismissal and in case of voluntary resignation. Moreover, they increase the amount of the pension when the employee retires.
This system was implemented in Austria in 2003 with great success. It not only reduces the dismissal cost for companies but also helps to boost the labour market and to make it more flexible, since the employees keep their acquired rights both in the event of dismissal and in the event of voluntary resignation.
On Wednesday, October 16th, the main employer organisation of Catalonia, Foment del Treball, organized a conference to discuss this subject in depth with experts – for the very first time in Spain. The event was opened by Mr. Joan Roget, Vice-president of Foment del Treball, Mr. Christian Ebner, Ambassador of Austria in Spain, Mr. José María Bové, Honorary Consul General of Austria, and Mr. Andreas Schmid, Commercial Delegate of Austria in Barcelona.
Mr. Christian Böhm, CEO of APK, the largest pension fund in Austria, and member of the board of Pensions Europe, then discussed the issue of the “Austrian backpack” in depth and presented the employment regulations in Austria: the pension funds related to the workplace and the redundancy payment schemes.
This event was organized by the Honorary Consulate General of Austria, Advantage Austria and Foment del Treball. The conference was followed by a debate, appetizer and networking.
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