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Brussels to delay IORP II proposal due to lack of data – sources

The European Commission is likely to postpone the introduction of its legislative proposal for pillars two and three of the revised IORP Directive due to a lack of data regarding the impact they could have on pension funds across Europe, sources have told IPE.

Speaking with IPE, sources in Berlin, Brussels and London said the Commission very recently changed its plan to launch a legislative proposal for the revised IORP Directive in the second half of October, as was originally agreed.

According to those sources, the Commission will now launch its legislative proposal for pillars two and three – which focus on governance and transparency, respectively – in late November or even December.

The delay, they said, is due to the fact the European Commission lacks the data needed to help assess the real impact the new requirements set under the revised IORP Directive could have on European pension funds.

Earlier this year, the Commission asked the Brussels-based association PensionsEurope to conduct an analysis on the potential costs arising from pillars two and three.

In its final report, released in July, PensionsEurope stressed that it received “very few responses” from IORPs, as many issues appeared during the process.

“This process was costly for IORPs, and the uncertainties contained in the questionnaires combined with difficulties for each jurisdiction to interpret EIOPA’s advice requirements render the process very difficult,” the association said.

“However, as requested by the European Commission, the following data show some trends on the potential impacts, [but] the content of this paper cannot be extrapolated at country level.”

Commenting on the decision made by the Commission to postpone the introduction of its legislative proposal, Matti Leppäla, secretary-general and chief executive at PensionsEurope, said: “The impact assessment we made for the commission doesn’t provide uniform data and, for many countries, no numerical data.

“Our German members assessed more than others the costs in euros to different types of IORPs. Thus, it may be that the Commission would like to have similar data on the impact on others as well.”

However, it remains unclear at this stage how the Commission is planning to further assess the impact of pillars two and three.

The sources contacted by IPE went on to say that the Commission would be unlikely to conduct its own impact analysis internally, and that it would more likely pass on the work, probably to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).

Contacted by IPE, two spokespeople for EIOPA said the authority has not been asked at this stage to conduct such analysis.

One spokesperson added that, if EIOPA were to do further work on pillars two and three of the revised directive, it would make the timetable public and consult with stakeholders.

However, this process, in turn, would take more time than expected, meaning the Commission would be unlikely to release its legislative proposal before the end of this year.

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