BELGIUM – The Belgian government is thwarting attempts to put the country at the forefront of pan-European pension funds, the national pension fund institution says.

The Belgian Association of Pension Institutions (BVPI/ABIP) stated in its December newsletter that its attempts to put Belgium at the forefront of pan-European pension funds were not being supported.

“The BVPI is doing everything it can to remind the government of its intentions to place Belgium on the map as a place of business for pan-European pension funds,” said secretary general Hugo Clemeur in the newsletter.

“Unfortunately on this area there is still no concrete measure or realisation by government in sight.”

In November IPE reported that Belgian financial supervisors were set to present the final version of a new law for implementing the EU directive on occupational pensions in the first week of January.

But observers said it could still take many months before final agreement is reached by both government and Parliament.

Average returns for Belgian pension funds in the first half of 2005 matched returns for the whole of 2004 – pinned at an average of 8.68%, according to a BVPI survey.

The association represents 100 Belgian pension funds worth a total of €13bn.