By the time you read this, football’s World Cup will be into its latter stages. 

The Netherlands and Italy, two countries less distracted by sport this summer – apologies to our Italian and Dutch readers for reminding you about failing to qualify – have been busying themselves with politics and pensions instead. 

Italy’s new government has begun to make its presence known – see this month’s country report. In the Netherlands much of the action has revolved around the implications of a leaked document related to its planned new pension model.

Sweden and Denmark haven’t been completely diverted by their teams’ pursuit of success in Russia, however: the AP funds edged closer to scoring access to direct investments in private equity and debt, and Danish pension funds teamed up for a new sustainable development fund.

Speaking of sustainability, June’s biggest story actually began at the end of May, with the European Commission’s legislative framework for sustainable finance kicking off a discussion about how investors and asset managers can best implement these issues into their strategies and portfolios. Those called up by the Commission to the advisory team charged with drawing up a sustainable finance taxonomy could have a major impact on future European investment playing fields.

Whether or not you are following the World Cup, there promises to be plenty of action in the pensions sector over the summer with reforms and regulations taking shape across Europe – and that’s before considering the end of quantitative easing. If all that uncertainty is too much, you could always call on a video assistant referee.

Nick Reeve, News Editor