European Commissioner reiterates proposal to extend Solvency II capital adequacy requirements to occupational pension schemes

In a recent speech in Dublin, Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner for Internal Markets and Services, outlined the Commission's plans on several topical issues relevant to the pensions sector. Key points arising from the speech include:
  • The proposal that institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs), particularly defined benefit schemes, should be subject to a capital adequacy requirement similar to that due to come into effect for insurance companies under Solvency II. The Commission intends to proceed cautiously, given the special nature of occupational pensions.
  • For background information, see Practice note, Solvency II.
  • The possibility of extending the IORP directive to areas relevant to cross-border activity that are currently beyond its remit. The main examples are discriminatory tax treatment between member states, and differing social and labour law.
  • Progress in agreeing the proposed portability directive. The Council of Ministers decided to concentrate on removing obstacles to pension rights (such as minimum age restrictions) and preserving deferred pensions. It deleted the proposed Article 6, relating to the transferability of pension rights, because of the technical difficulties involved in transferring rights between schemes in different member states. The Commission will prepare a revised proposal after the directive's first reading in the European Parliament on 20 June 2007.
See Press release: Charlie McCreevy, Commission policies of relevance to the pensions sector, 8 June 2007.
PLC Pensions

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