European healthcare is good but pensions and retirement plans are a major concern, expats claim

by Ray Clancy on January 29, 2010

Retirement and pension plans are a major concern for most expats based in Europe, according to a labour market survey, but most are happy with healthcare.  Those who have moved to Europe are generally happy with the labour policies and welfare benefits as compared with their home countries, but they are not happy with their pension benefits, the research by Expactica shows.

The reasons for expats’ dissatisfaction with pension benefits vary, the survey shows.  Some said they don’t qualify for the full amount of state pension as they only spent a certain amount of years working in their newly-adopted country, while others complained they are paying into an unportable pension plan.

‘You can only get a full pension here if you have been continually residing in the country since your 15th birthday. I moved here when I was 29, so I will automatically lose 28% of my pension benefits,’ said one expat living in Holland.

‘My husband, who is Dutch and was born here, lived in the UK for 13 years, so will automatically lose 26% of his pension,’ she added. ‘I am paying into a pension which I will be unable to claim should I leave the country which is likely to happen before I am pensionable,’ said a British expat.

Expats who have moved across continents said the financial crisis has also left them at the mercy of currency fluctuation, the survey also shows. ‘My retirement funds were accumulated in the US in dollars, and since moving to Belgium these have been cut nearly in half by the weakening dollar,’ said a 61-year-old expat living in Wavre.

However, expats in France appear to be happier with the pension system. A British expat living in Chateauroux said: ‘In France, they give you 50% of your best 10 years’ worth of salary and that is your pension. You also get a chance to top it up and get a better pension.’

Expats from Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand were the most satisfied with labor market policies and welfare benefits. One Canadian living in Belgium said he benefitted from 13 more days a holiday a year and an Asian expat told the survey that he felt employers in Holland were more protective of their workforce.

‘The taxes we pay are used very well. Healthcare is great, the roads and parks are very much better maintained than in Australia, education is wonderful, and food is much cheaper,’ commented an Australian expat based in Holland.

‘Healthcare is included in the social security package in Spain, in the US it is not. I am very satisfied with the quality of healthcare here. In the US I worried about what would happen to me if something happened that my overpriced insurance wouldn’t pay for,’ said a Madrid-based American in her 20s.

While most expats said they appreciate how much employees are protected by European laws, they agreed it makes the labour market somewhat inflexible. ‘The market is stagnated by the difficulty of firing employees. People are afraid to hire permanent employees because you can never get rid of them. So they hire less people or they play around with temporary contracts,’ explained an American expat living in France.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jack February 3, 2010 at 12:13 am

Let’s look at some history which might open our minds up to considering that the Pommies are not entitled to special treatment nor are any immigrants…but they do get it in France and Australia where they have settled at low cost and in great numbers…and seem insatiable.

It didn’t take long for brits in Australia to get the general title “whingeing pommies”…so many seemed to have the idea “it’s all about me” after being allowed, on a ten pounds special rate even welcomed into a place whose dark history was based on Britain.

Brave and vital young Australian men suffered terribly through incompetent British military leadership in WW1 and its disinterest in rendering assistance in WW11 as well as having the utterly incompetent, narcissistic American general Macarthur sending men to their unecessary deaths by the thousands .

Americans talk about how superior they to Australians were in Jungle warfare but the truth is very different. Patton, another American fantasy of greatness extended the war in Europe by a year through his infantile demand for power. Macarthus, never supposed to command again after his Australia debacle went on to straff Korean refugees and is personally responsible for Nth Korea developing a nuclear arsenal after his repeated rantings for USA to “Nuke” Nth Korea.That led to their fear and subsequesnt nuclear development.

Most australians have been indoctrinated into thinking USA won WW11 and saved Australia and Britain and everywhere else but the reality is quite a different story even though when they finally came in after many of their wealthy had supported and invested huge sums in the german war machine we were saved. Churchill spoke often of his trauma in been lied-to for years by the US President concerning “immediate delivery of materiel”. In both the nachtkrystal and the bombing of England Hitler was retaliating against “allied” abominations, and we didn’t “understand” his invasion of poland and the low countries.

Few people know which group had long lobbied the British to declare war against Germany in the 1930’s nor the part they played in Hitler’s war through their attacks on german businesses ad through boycotting Germman trade…which caused serious problems. WW11 was, you see not “undesired” but simply another step in turning around politics and enforcing debt for an ultimate political purpose and the actions continue every moment of every day. We are experiencing it right now. The more whingeing you do the better they like it because you are preparing yourself for the accepting massive political change.

The reich all through the 30’s and ww11 was supporting the takeover of Palestine by the new jewish order now called “zionisml” as opposed to the old order of eurpoean jewish people.The history of that will shock most people when they learn of the treachery of those zionists against their own people in eurpope and usa and thier plots against against britain and of the terrorism practiced relentlessly against palestinians since (looking only at post ww11) 1946.The reich created their bank and traded with the “israelis” and israel plotted with them to exterminate the British. Britain had for a very long time thought of itself as “the new Israel” as any number of poets and historians have made clear.There was however to be only one Israel and that is where the hebrews attacked and defeated the canaanites after being led from egypt by probably, Akenhaten. Much of the world’s misery stems from that era.

The accepted escape route for jewish people during WW11 was only into palestine and those who tried other countries were often “given up” to the reich. The reality is a far cry from the fairy stories we are fed and all this happened in our parents’ lifetimes.

Many brits and americans and australians and canadians and so many others who came to france’s aid in both wars gained often deep and abiding love of france, one which is not responded well throughout most of france. Some find it is, some believe it is but it’s pretty localised.

It is natural then that this lovely country should attract people of all races. My family also served in many theatres of war including france. We were however also huegenots before escaping to Ireland and over the centuries, becoming tykes. The people I am making observations about are people whose attraction to france I probably completely understand but I’d like to distract them from their whingeing about the results of going there. If you don’t like the system you have adopted because it suits you in other areas, then either buzz off or else make political representation with a logical and fair and achievable case. Why make yourselves loathed in a country whose people are generally far worse off than you will ever be.

Let’s get on with bringing our minds into some sort of exercise pattern so as to appreciate “it”‘s not “all about us”.

Few people know America actually permitted the Pearl Harbour invasion and fewer know that America threatened Japan with invasion “in 12 months” if japan continued to refused to trade with the USA…and did invade with horrific loss of Japanese life. That was about a hundred years earlier in 1854 if I correctly recall…but when Japan invaded Parl harbour after anything valuable was removed by the Navy, they were “barbarians”. The atomic bomb, created using german science was tested on japanese civilians even thugh japan was militarily defeated already.America has been a war criminal ever since. It’s people were quoted to me by one who lived there, of course far too broadly in saying “how can such intelligent people be so stupid”? Well, it depends on what form intelligence you mean.Few people know of the Israeli atrocities in 1967 nor their attack on the USS Liberty with the connivance of the US government and Admiral mcCain, to bring USA into joining those middle eastern massacres and the takeover of the arab states as far as possible.

The Australians not the Americans won the decisive battle which turned the Japanese forces around, never to recover. An Australian designed the tactics for the Pacific Air war adopted by the USA and Australian officers trained American conscripts who arrived for the greater part not even competent in shooting a rifle. Australians turned Rommel, those “rats of tobruk”. Australians were decisive in action in most theatres in both wars,(not so in Greece it’s fair to say) and Australians didn’t bomb german citizens into mincemeat thus leading to the blitz of London as retaliation.

The best of the inhabiants of britain and some of those in Ireland were sent out there on leaky disease ridden sexually sadistic ships after Britains very belated “discovery” of a new penal colony, long discovered by other nations. As time went on and a “squatocracy developed” Australia began to become a jewel in britain’s crown and immigrants flooded there. Later many of the Pomms and Scots gained power in the Australian trade union movement and police force where they could exercise their introverted need to feel precious and powerful and look extroverted. The Irish did their bit too in brutal justice but seem to be cut from a different cloth.

In the meantime, prior to the french revolution (so called) possibly the most evil man ever born was plotting with 12 european bankers with himself as messiah to commence actions through war and dissent which would profit the banks by then financing all sides as well as giving them the power to shuffle the world around until it could finally be governed by a select group of bankers who in the interim controlled government actions through the witholding or suppy of money. For that reason they aimed at obtaining all central banking systems. They have about 5 to go.

Every misery, every disruptive act, every secretive government, every war or revolution, every debt, heads people towards the ultimate despair which will see them accepting a takeover. The story is one of persistence in an evil idealism by evil people seeking ultimate power and wealth.

Here we are now reading about how hardly done-by pommies are in Europe over pensions. Why should these countries spend money on you? You decided to go there for advantage and typically with disdain of the french nationals to whom you assume your superiority.Your country wants membership of the EU on a basis of superior power. The french health care leads the world in comptence and surgical skills and prices are miniscule by comparison. You have a long reputation as a race for demanding numerous prescriptions and filling the cupboard with taxpayer funded pharmeceuticals. The french as a general rule don’t like you nor the effect you are having on their lifestyle and ability to buy and to rent. You tend to use british artisans, some of course are more sensible and use the french especially if they can speak a little french themselves. You don’t let go or fit in other than in your dreams …how many cricket clubs and conkers competitions exist in the Dordogne alone? Sure the french play their petanque or boules throughout the world but it’s a very different environment from cricket but I accept that could be a counter criticism. Only once have I seen a Brit poorer than the French and she had bought a run down hovel fit for pigs through a british “agency ” in France at four times its most generous estimation of value.

British “property agents”, so termed, usually charge 20% to 35% commission on sales. Some are out and out crooks and few have any proper formal training, unlike the french agents. Then you get some who really try to meet the french culture but ‘britons never, never will be slaves”. Unlike the french who showed intelligence and a proper reading of the reality, Britain, whilst mocking the French assisted in invading Iraq as did the egoistic Australian prime minister and numerous others. They were grovelling before the the conspiratorial American President who was selected by the forces of darkness known in part as “the Bilderbergers” to lead the invasion of the middle east and murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people after the well pre-planned “911” to be followed by this fraudulent “melt down” which never needed to occur at all.

Some interesting elements of that are that for 35 years Israel had required USA invade for that murderous purpose.

The owner of the British central banking system also owns the Russian central bank (organised by the russian revolution as the previous Tsar had refused the rights to own it and was then told his entire family would be exterminated) and the US central bank. The few remaining countries whose banks are not so owned are, curiously and scurrilously called , the “axis of evil” by one of USA’s most evil presidents. Iraq is now destroyed and its banking system hijacked and Lybia has capitulated. That leaves about 5 central banks to go. Sadly Iraq was a model country in the middle east and had a great social and industrial infrastructure, its women being respected and educated. It was religiously liberal, had a ruler who had done all the USA had asked of him but was subjected to relentless US and Israeli propaganda and covert actions to villify Hussein. Hussein twice offered to exile himself to save his country but that would have wasted “911” for which he was entirely unresonsible.

France’s political history is nothing to write home about however its people have lived their lives in communes and democratic socialism. It cannot in my view comprehend it was rescued in the two world wars which were initiated by European and American and British bankers. Only in the North are our valiant dead revered and recalled. The so called “french revolution” was initiated by the same organisms as organised the Russian revolution, the group whose founder, a criminal banker, had brought down the bank of England through massive interesting history. So also is the true identity of Stalin and Trotsky and numerous other sadists who ultimately caused the deaths of 60 million people.

The world has much history which still enters into daily life. The british and german soccer hooligan and vandals represent the undeveloped human race, the sort who would have been knocked on the head in any ancient group
as a danger to the whole tribe. Some of these human horrors lived and prospered in earlier times and became rulers. Attila, Ghengis Khan are probably represented in everyone’s dna.

Britain is descended from probably the most sadistic examples of of mankind as represented in its old royalty, its barons and politicians and in its so called “justice system” and inhuman punishments. Dickens touched on the horrors injustice and and aberrations but there was far worse and cromwell was but one of the monsters. Those would be survivors who lived, not hanged or tortured or ripped apart or transported or dead of starvation or gin poisoning have in some cases had descendants who have gone on to demand the world quiver and shake and support them, not the least in France. What gives you the idea you are special? Why should any other nation want you ? Other than your money what do you offer them?

Here they are bellyaching about something they ought well have realised before seeking sunny, once cheap, france. Even if things have changed…why should france look after you? It had systems in place and french people themselves are suffering under new regimes, the acceleraton of the new world order through debt and murder based political change. They are suffering under immigration which should have been halted long ago and supporting vast numbers of unemployed persons, generally mohammedans and becoming a target also for the poor and the criminal from central europe. The french immigration was hijacked for years (see “the other side of deception”, viktor ostrovsky) by an alien country and this was in our lifetime. Money spent on the arts is being cut back and france stands out as a leader in the arts, or did. You are loading up the health system and the pension system. Britain backs off I suppose because they don’t want British pension money to be spent in Europe.

I have lived in France mainland and in Provence since 1996. I use only french artisans. I have been to the hospital once for a consultation, 2003, after a private blood test which indicated a serious disease, gained I believe from those stinking street drains polluting the air. I paid for both. I attended a doctor in provence in 1996, a briton, who had his head in his hands almost in tears over the demands of british people to have him asist them exploit the french health system. I tried to comfort him but the one who had just reduced him to his state was a woman I knew who had gone in before me, but he said “these british people want at least three prescriptions at every visit though not needed or they say they will never return”.

I paid for my consultation. I attended a wonderful french masseur and chinese herbalist (he isn’t chinese) and paid for it. I have spent most of my earnings in france. I am often sadly mistaken for a brit or an american because I am not french and my accent is not perfect but they are more sociable when they learn I am neither. I speak only french unless asked to speak english. I associate with expats as little as possible since my first 5 years in france and have visited villages where almost all living there are brits. ..or pommies. They call this “living in France”. The silly film of “a year in provence” probably did more harm than good and I recall well other ludicrous expat films such as “irma la douce” and “an american in paris”..this is their vision, a france which is subservient to “greater” cultures.

I live in an hameau where I could quite reasonably “hate the french” and believe the communal system is not uncommonly corrupt however, having said all that it’s FRANCE and I doubt as many of their politicians wear suspender belts and women’s underclothes as happens inBritain. This system, and yes it has never been stable since the revolution, is what they have developed and if I can’t cope with it then better I just go away or find another spot there.

I am inflicted in an area where a pommie, who is more french then the french is a councilor, an ignorant man who holds a pretty high view of himself . As for pensions…in 1997 I was able to start a company, granted such permit but I didn’t. I wouldn’t expectthe french to make special arrangements to support me, an expat, in my old age. Their own people are quite a drain on this country which is in the financial doldrums. I am one of the most highly qualified property experts in my own country but wouldn’t dream of joining the expatriots who pose as agents and “experts” at huge commissions in France. I don’t want to go to France or live in france where I keep bumping ito expatriots and seeing expatriot influence in housing. On the other hand if they took on board the expatriot skills with a paintbrush and flower gardens they might lose their affliction as the heaviest users of prozac in the world. Maybe if they were stopped from over prescribing that might also happen. What all expats should in my view offer to the french is not criticism but good example. If we want to live there then let’s adjust, let’s give good example, let’s brighten the place up without creating ghettos such as the dordogne and parts of the south and let’s not continue the criticism of the french environment on matters they have little control over and appreciate that it’s NOT all about us. Let’s fit in with them rather than expect them to fit in with us.



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