|AEIP – Occupational Pension Security Working Group (OPSWG): towards an appropriate pension security system|
The AEIP Commission II (Occupational Pension Funds), under the lead of its chair Assoprevidenza (IT), decided to re-launch its Working Group on Solvency which successfully lobbied in the past against the application of the Solvency II (SII) directive to pension funds. This working group has now been renamed to Occupational Pension Security Working Group (OPSWG) in order to reflect the need to identify not only an adequate solvency regime, but essentially an overall occupational pension security system which takes into account all the specificities of pension funds.
Overall, AEIP agrees with the objective of the European Commission (EC) to guarantee safe benefits and a high-quality governance of all occupational pension funds. This goes hand in hand with the goal of the European policy makers of ensuring adequate and sustainable pension systems, which is shared by all of the members of AEIP.
The EC has recently launched a Call for Advice (CfA) addressed to EIOPA in order to review Directive 2003/41/EC which covers the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision (=> IORP II). With this, AEIP will be active in communicating with EIOPA and DG MARKT on all the issues addressed in this CfA to which their members could bring significant expertise, such as governance and risk management requirements, internal controls and audit, outsourcing, disclosures, as well as identifying appropriate technical provisions and solvency capital requirements that make sense for pension funds.
So far, two meetings of the OPSWG have taken place, bringing together 15 participants from 9 European countries (BE, DE, FI, FR, IT, LU, NL, UK and CH). Moreover, other institutions participated as observers, such as the European Association of Public Sector Pension Institutions (EAPSPI) in order to broaden the perspective of AEIP. This group analysed the 3 pillars of the SII and brainstormed on its elements, some of which could be applied, in the future, to pension funds. In addition, the current solvency regimes of the participating member states were examined. A first proposal of the common position will be presented to the public by Laura Crescentini on 27 April 2011 during the Brussels conference on “Pension Funds and EU Policies.”
AEIP Financial Affairs Advisor
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