EUROPE – The new top-level Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors has held its first plenary meeting, which saw the creation of a working group for occupational pensions.

The CEIOPS, which is set to be housed in Frankfurt, held its first meeting on February 4 and said transparency and consulting would be a key element.

"This first meeting of the fully established CEIOPS following its legal creation by an European Commission decision last November marks an important stage in the Committee's development,” said committee chairman Henrik Bjerre-Nielsen, director general of Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority, Finanstilsynet.

The session saw the setting up of a working group on occupational pension issues to “examine the inclusion of the occupational pensions supervisors in the protocols organising the co-operation and information exchange between supervisors for the implementation of the IORPs [Institutions of Occupational Retirement_Provision] directive”.

The group add that it would “consult extensively and in an open and transparent manner” with providers of insurance and occupational pensions funds products, market participants, consumers and end-users.

The committee also endorsed the decision taken by European finance ministers on January 20 to locate its secretariat in Frankfurt. “This decision allows the creation of CEIOPS an independent legal entity.”

“The next steps in the practical organisation will be the formal establishment of CEIOPS becoming a legal person in Germany, the appointment of a Secretary General and a Deputy Secretary-General,” it said, adding the new secretariat should be operational by July 1.

The bureau of the committee is chaired by Bjerre-Nielsen and with Germany’s Thomas Steffen as vice-chairman.
Other members are: France’s Florence Lustman, the UK’s John Tiner and Belgium’s Michel Flamée.

The Secretariat will remain in Paris until the Frankfurt office opens. Representatives of European associations were also approved at the meeting. They include:

Comité Européen des Assurances:
-Rolf-Peter HOENEN

European Federation for Retirement Provision

Association des Assureurs Coopératifs et Mutualistes Européens

Association Internationale des Sociétés d'Assurance Mutuelles
-Esteban TEJERA

Bureau International des Producteurs d'Assurances et de Réassurances

Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs
-Jean-Paul COTEUR

Union Européenne de l'Artisanat et des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises
-Jean-François ENGELS

Groupe Consultatif Actuariel Européen

Fédération des Experts comptables Européens
- Dr.Gerd