This is a great article from the Wall Street Journal describing all of the retirement planning difficulties and challenges expatriates face: “Retirement Traps Expats Can Avoid As They Make Moves: A Checklist of Issues to Consider, From Gauging Pension Options To Collecting Your Benefits Later.” The article advises employees who are planning to work abroad for less than five years to keep paying into social security and private retirement programs in their home country since most countries allow expatriates a five-year exemption from local social-security taxes.
Quote of Note: “The real headache for expatriates are employer-sponsored pensions. For now, there are no international, or pan-European, pensions. When an employee works in three countries, he will have three retirement plans that are next to impossible to consolidate due to discord in international tax laws. In addition, short periods spent in various countries can mean a loss of long-term benefits.”