EUROPE – The EU commissioner for internal markets and services, Michel Barnier, will present a legislative proposal focusing on governance, transparency and reporting requirements for occupational pension funds in the autumn after he announced the postponement of pillar one of the revised IORP Directive.
Speaking yesterday on the sidelines of a conference on global sustainability and reporting in Amsterdam, Barnier said that, taking into account the preliminary results of the quantitative impact study (QIS) published by the European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority (EIOPA) last month, the EC decided to postpone the implementation of pillar one in the revised directive.
In a statement following his announcement, the commissioner added that Brussels would now focus on pillars two and three of the revised directive, covering governance and reporting issues, respectively.
"I have decided first of all to present a legislative proposal focusing on governance, transparency and reporting requirements for occupational pension funds in the autumn 2013," he said.
"On those aspects, there is broad consensus, at least on the principles."
Barnier insisted the proposal would not cover the issue of solvency rules for pension funds, which will for the time being remain an open issue.
"The situation should be re-examined once we have more complete data," he said.
"We must not lose sight of the need to guarantee in the longer term a level playing field between different providers of occupational pensions."
He went on to say the EC must face up to the "weaknesses" in some occupational pension funds.
"However, I have no desire to penalise national systems that work well," he said.
"And I especially do not want, in the current fragile economic situation, to harm the ability of pension funds to play their role as long-term investors."
Barnier failed to provide any details on the new timetable for the possible introduction of solvency-based measures for occupational pensions.
But he said it expected the quantitative rules would be a job for his successor, after a new group of commissioners takes over next year.