EUROPE - The European Commission is likely to take more legal action against member states over the implementation of the European directive on occupational pension funds, a top official has said.

The comments came from Alan Beverly, deputy head of the insurance and pensions unit at the Internal Market directorate.

Speaking at a conference organised by the European Federation for Retirement Provision, Beverly said that following the infringement cases for non-communication "other cases can be expected before the year's end".

The Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision directive came into force on September 23 last year.

However, in early July, the UK and Slovenia have already been referred to the European Court of Justice by the Commission for failing to implement the directive.

Beverly's announcement is a clear sign that Europe continues to strive to the creation of pan-European pension plans.

Furthermore, Beverly said that "the first step is on the way to an internal market for occupational retirement provision," with a scope of the 25 European member state plus Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland.

Also speaking at the conference was Pablo Antolin, a principal economist at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Financial Affairs Division. He discussed the impact of ageing on private pensions.

He argued that there is a need to improve the calculation to assess the liabilities for pension funds, and in particular mortality and life expectancy.

"There is not a common methodology to take on board longevity risk, let alone to assess it," he said, arguing for the use of so called stochastic models to forecast future life expectancy outcomes.

Meanwhile, Europe will "need more people" to cope with the demographic challenge of population ageing, says European Commission president José Manuel Barroso.

"I'd now like to ask you a question: do you believe your business is ready for the demographic challenge?" Barroso asked at a conference in Brussels today.

He said: "Ageing is first and foremost good news: it means more people living longer, in better conditions. This also creates a demand for new products and services. But it also means an ageing and shrinking workforce, with an increasing risk of skill bottlenecks.

"We often discuss the need to reform social protection systems and to boost employment and productivity. This is very true. But I'm not sure we have done enough to quantify the amount of change needed - including in our own minds - to cope with the new realities of Europe's demographic squeeze.

"The Commission is about to adopt a Communication which does precisely that. And it is clear from this paper that Europe will need more people - either born here or migrating to the EU. And that there should be more of these people at work, working more productively, with longer working lives."