CEIOPS chairman Henrik Bjerre-Nielsen has ruled out the need for a separate EU committee on pensions – despite the group’s current focus on the Solvency II project for the insurance industry.
Speaking at the recent Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Committee’s conference in Frankfurt, Bjerre-Nielsen said pension fund issues were not being neglected despite the demands of Solvency II. CEIOPS has repeatedly referred to the insurance workload.
MEPs Ieke van den Burg and Othmar Karas were expected to quiz the European Commission on CEIOPS’s role in the implementation of the occupational pension fund directive.
However, Bjerre-Nielsen said there was no need for a new EU committee for pensions supervision. “Amid scarce resources, I would advise against it. I think it would unnecessarily increase costs and bureaucracy, as we would be dealing with yet another committee,” he said.
He also stressed that it made sense to converge supervision of insurance companies with pension funds. “If there were no such convergence, politically responsible people would have to explain to pension beneficiaries why they should not have the same level of (regulatory) competence that policy holders in insurance companies could expect,” he said.
CEIOPS does have a special working group on pension supervision. Headed by Hungarian regulator Mihaly Erdos, it is drafting a new protocol as a framework for future supervision of pan-European pension funds.