FEFSI, Europe's equivalent of the IMA, says the pensions directive voted through by the EU Parliamen...
FEFSI, Europe's equivalent of the IMA, says the pensions directive voted through by the EU Parliament yesterday will restrict competition and harm consumer interests despite last minute adjustments.
As adopted, the directive will only cover pension funds and life insurance companies, but no other occupational scheme providers, FEFSI says.
Proposals to extend the directive to other types of providers had been made by the Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, which previously came up with a political compromise saving the tax-free lump sum payment that is a peculiarity of the existing UK regime.
The Committee recommended that the directive be extended to cover "all nationally and supervised institutions that offer funded occupational schemes," FEFSI says.
The new rules mean the directive will only have a "limited impact" on small- and medium-sized employers, and the take-up of "second pillar" pensions could be slower.
A clause in the directive does mean that the European Commission will monitor the occupational pensions market with an eye to extending the regime to other institutions.
Everything to do with European legislation takes time, however, and FEFSI says the Commission should move "without delay, as the creation of a level playing field for financial operators is one of the key elements of an integrated single market for financial services."
The Parliament yesterday said that the establishment of rules for being able to trade pensions across borders could save a large multinational "up to 40m euros if it could pool its various schemes into one fund".
"In addition, MEPs are stipulating that information should be provided to each individual every year of the situation regarding the value of the pension fund and the current level of individual entitlements."
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