Employer, worker and industry representatives: Genuine Transparency and Governance Measures for European IORPs

Brussels, 10/07/2013

As already stated in our Press Release of March 1st 2012, we reiterate our view that harmonisation plans should be reconsidered as they would have negative effects on the existence and adequacy of occupational pensions and the resources available for company investments in growth and jobs. Moreover, the fundamental differences that exist between insurance companies and IORPs mean that such harmonisation is not justified.

These differences should also be duly reflected in governance and transparency measures. They should be tailor-made and suitable for IORPs and take into account their specificities. They should also respect the role of the social partners in the governance of pension institutions and in determining, where appropriate, the funding and benefits rights for European citizens as well as how deeply embedded pensions are in national social and labour law and practices.

Governance and transparency measures designed specifically to pension funds are only justified if they provide necessary and reasonable improvements of member protection and transparency. If copied from Solvency II directive, which is designed for insurance companies, these measures might prove excessively heavy for IORPs, due to high administrative and cost burden. Consequently, excessive costs will have to be borne by sponsoring undertakings and/or scheme members, which might thus lead to less occupational pension provision in the future.

That is why the proportionality principle needs to be properly taken into account in the IORP II directive, with respect to existing pension rights and collective bargaining arrangements while keeping the right of the members to be informed about their pension rights in a proper and comprehensive way.

Finally, we trust that the forthcoming directive addresses all the necessary measures for improving the governance and transparency of IORPs, avoiding the need to engage in time-consuming and complex level 2 and level 3 implementing measures. We neither consider the own risk and solvency assessment, developed as part of the Solvency II framework, to be a necessary measure as it is based on solvency requirements which will not be part of a legislative proposal.

Signatories to the joint press statement:
- The European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP);
- The European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public services (CEEP);
- European Association of Public Sector Pension Institutions (EAPSPI);
- The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA);
- PensionsEurope;
- European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC);
- European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA);
- European Association of Crafts, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME).