EFRP Slams Speed of IORP Consultation
24 April 2012 (PLANSPONSOREurope.com) – The speed with which European pension stakeholders was consulted in proposed changes to the IORP pensions directive is “deeply troubling”, according to Patrick Burke, chair of the European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP).
At an event organised by the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds Burke told delegates: “The speed at which the call for advice was issued and responded to was deeply troubling. Such a significant body of work was undertaken in a very short period and we suspect didn’t allow sufficient time to think about whether it is actually right. We are concerned that that reflects the Commission’s ambition in terms of putting forward the argument.”
Meanwhile Klaus Stiefermann, Secretary General of German fund association ABA, spoke out against the “level playing field” between insurance and pension funds that the review aims to bring.
“It’s total nonsense to speak about a level playing field because I understand it if you play soccer or handball you should have two different sets of rules even if both of them are just games with balls. This is something that is protected by Labour Affairs and goes through all political parties.”
But Fritz von Nordhiem of the European Commision told delegates that the IORP Directive is a “tiny” part of the big agenda for Europe.
“The White Paper is primarily how we need to adjust and we need to adjust not primarily through IORP. It is a tiny agenda. The big agenda is we need to work more and longer and as we have fewer people of working age, we need to think about social investments so growth is volume of employment x productivity and productivity is investment in human capital and that is the general agenda of the EU.
“And then we have the IORP which needs to be brought into line with other concerns and that is why the priority of the EU is growth. There will be growth friendly pensions and growth friendly pensions are not the IORP regulation but the raising of the pension age and putting in place strong work incentives so it pays to work more and there is a balance in retiring.”