EUROPE – Alan Pickering, the former chairman of the UK National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has been named as the new chairman of the European Federation for Retirement (EFRP), replacing Kees Van Rees, who leaves EFRP after chairing the association during the last four years (October 1997 – October 2001).

Pickering, who has served as vice-chairman of the EFRP since last year, was highly respected in his role as chairman of the NAPF between May 1999 and May 2001.

He is also a partner at consultancy firm Watson Wyatt.

Alongside the new chairman’s appointment, two new vice-chairmen, Jaap Maassen of Dutch pension fund ABP and Angel Martinez-Aldama of Spanish pensions association INVERCO, were also officially voted in.

Maassen joined ABP in 1996 as a director of pensions and a member of the board with specific responsibility for the pensions, IT, insurance and mortgage divisions.

Martinez-Aldama has been working for INVERCO since 1995 and was appointed director general in April 2001.
He also sits on the Board of FIAP (International Federation of Pension Fund Administrators), and is a member of the FEFSI Euro Committee (European Federation of Funds and Investment Companies) and of the Steering Committee of the WPA (World Pension Association).

Under the changes, former vice-chairman, Ulrich Jürgens of the Hamburger Pensionsverwaltung, stepped down, after having served on the EFRP board of directors since June 1997.

In a statement, the EFRP comments: “During these last four years Kees Van Rees has guided the Federation through an exciting but far from easy period of establishing and expanding the EFRP secretariat in Brussels. Under his forceful leadership the Federation has grown into a solid and financially stable organisation, which has gained acknowledgement and expert status at European and global levels. Crucial issues covered during this chairmanship included: the run-up to the IORP-Directive, its adoption by the European Commission and its current legislative itinerary, the EFRP’s role in the Pensions Forum and the proposal for a pan-European pension fund.”

The association adds that Pickering’s arrival as EFRP chairman is set to be no less hectic: “Celebrating its 20th anniversary, EFRP is now entering a new era, which certainly promises to be as interesting and crucial as the previous one. The proposal for a Directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision looks promising and also the tax coordination process on occupational pensions has commenced.”

As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations the EFRP has also released a book entitled: EFRP 20 years, which includes interviews with EFRP chairmen over the last 20 years, as well as contributions from major figures in the European pensions arena.