All civil servants are automatically retired at the age of 65, or before, at their request or for health reasons, under certain conditions.
Since 2009, two pension schemes co-exist.
The first system, the OPS (Old Pension Scheme), to which all employees hired before 1 January 2009 are affiliated, is a traditional DBO (Defined Benefit Obligation) system, i.e. a system in which pension amounts are defined according to length of service (maximum 35 years), the annual accrual rate (currently 2%) and the last basic salary. The employee has the right to choose between the pension scales of the last host country in which he/she was employed by the EPO, or his/her home country. The right to a retirement pension is acquired at the age of 60. If the staff member leaves the service before the age of 60, the pension is deferred, or at his request, and if he has reached the age of 50, it is anticipated, but reduced according to his age.
As in the European Union, one third of the financing is provided by the employees and two thirds by the employer. On the basis of actuarial calculations, the reserves required to pay pensions up to a certain time horizon are determined. The monthly amounts to be paid are then calculated on the basis of the assumed discount rates. These amounts are then used to pay pensions and the surplus goes into a reserve fund, the RFPSS. So far, the monthly amounts paid by employees and employers have been sufficient to pay the pensions. From next year onwards, however, some of the funds in the RFPSS may have to be drawn on, as originally planned in the scheme. With more than 10 billion euro in its coffers, the RFPSS is well equipped for its task, whatever the management may say. Moreover, a second fund, the EPOTIF, of about 4 billion euro is currently available just in case.
We note in passing that the administration has repeatedly used commissioned financial studies based on unrealistic scenarios in recent years to cast doubt on the financial soundness of the EPO and the pension reserve fund, in order to increase production rates and reduce salary adjustments, among other things.
Although the basic salary is not taxed by the host or member states, as it is subject to an internal tax, the member states do not recognise this right with regard to pensions, which are taxed there. However, Article 42 of the Pension Regulations provides for an adjustment of the pension after taxation of approximately 50% of the tax.
Let us now turn to the second pension scheme of the EPO, the NPS (New Pension Scheme), which was introduced on 1 January 2009 and to which all employees hired from that date are affiliated. This scheme can be defined as a hybrid as it consists of two parts: the first part comprising the NPS itself, i.e. a traditional pension scheme similar to the OPS, but which only covers part of the pension entitlements, as it is capped, and the second part, the SSP (Salary Savings Plan), a retirement savings plan, covering the rest. The monetary split between the NPS and the SSP depends on various factors, but mainly on the grade and the corresponding salary of the employee.
The introduction of this second pension system in 2009 had the effect of creating two groups of employees with the same qualifications and assigned to the same tasks. Staff representation and the SUEPO strongly opposed the introduction of the second pension scheme, believing that the financial concerns behind it were unfounded, that it was unfair to new recruits and that it was wrong to divide staff into two categories. Several actions were taken, including legal actions by the staff representatives, but without success.
 cf. CA/D 14/08
 See Art. 10(1) of the New Pension Regulations and CA/D 12/08
 cf. Art. 65(3) of Staff Regulations and CA/D 13/08
 cf. p.ex. judgement 3427, ILOAT
In 2015, the Administrative Council amended the regulations concerning invalidity by emphasising the concept of partial or total incapacity. Prior to this reform, employees were required to contribute to an invalidity insurance. In case of disability, emoluments and a lump sum were paid to cover the loss of income due to disability. The reform reduced the emoluments and abolished the lump sum in one fell swoop, without replacement or alternative. This put older employees in a difficult position as they could not find disability insurance on similar terms in the private market. Employees who had contributed for more than 25 years saw it all disappear overnight, just when they needed it most.
After five years of proceedings, the Internal Appeals Committee gave its opinion last March on an appeal submitted by colleagues with the support of SUEPO. It unanimously concluded that by abolishing the “lump sum” without providing transitional measures for a smooth transition, the EPO had failed in its duty of care. The Appeals Committee also recommended to the President of the EPO, Mr. Campinos, to take appropriate transitional measures.
Following the refusal of EPO President Campinos to follow the unanimous recommendations of the Appeals Committee on this point, a number of colleagues with the support of the SUEPO filed a complaint with the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO (International Labour Organisation – ILOAT).
 cf. CA/D 2/15 et CA/14/15 rev 1