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  • Project contributors: Bridgen P, Meyer T, Davison L,

    This Project is part of the following research programme/s:

    Migration and Mobility


    Research on the build-up of pensions by EU migrants in the UK has shown the systematic vulnerability of those from poorer countries who want to retire in the UK. This is because rights accrued in their country of origin will be largely worthless in their richer host country. However, few of these migrants have actually retired yet. To better understand the possible future position of such migrants this project examines the trajectories of retired individuals, who migrated to rich EU countries during the post-WWII growth period. Little is known about their economic circumstances today; For those that stayed in their host country, how do they compare to natives? How do those who returned to their country of origin as retirees fare? How different are their pension levels? Can differences be explained by employment gaps, wealth gaps between countries or are other factors at play, such as discrimination?

    In stage one this project compares pension outcomes of first wave post-war migrants across 14 European countries, using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). We contrast retired migrants from within the European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA migrants from low- and high- GDP per capita countries to determine if their pension outcomes significantly differ from natives of the host countries. In its second part we will analyse existing research and secondary data information about the situation of first wave migrants, who stayed and who returned to their host countries.

    The SHARE database was selected due to the wealth of high quality data available for migrants and non-migrants across several European countries. Data will be pooled from waves 1-7 of the SHARE database in addition to key variables selected from the Job Episodes Panel, this allows for a larger sample of migrants than in previous analysis which was conducted on a single wave.

    Publications & Activities

    Open for the childless skilled only. The poverty risks of migrant workers with children
    Migrant Family, Employment, and Inequalities in the life course, MigrantLife Symposium (2022). (Virtual)
    Authors: Meyer T,


    Point-based immigration increases poverty risks for migrant families Mirage News. 2022
    See new study published by Professor Traute Meyer and Professor Paul Bridgen: Open for single workers only? Point-based immigration increases poverty risks for migrant families in the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice.