EU finance ministers consider FTT exemption for pension funds
The 10 EU member states negotiating the possible introduction of a financial transactions tax (FTT) are to carry out further technical analysis of its effects on pension funds and the real economy.
The decision to take this step comes after a possible exemption for pension funds was discussed during a meeting of the finance ministers of the member states earlier this week.
Belgium is one of the member states involved in the negotiations and is concerned about the effect of a FTT on pension funds. The Belgian occupational pensions association has been very vocal about the damaging effect it believes the FTT would have on pension funds in the country.
In a statement, the Belgian finance minister, Johan Van Overtfeldt, said that the “safeguarding of pension funds” is one of the provisions of the federal government’s coalition agreement.
According to minister’s statement, there was a discussion at the meeting about whether a pension fund exemption should apply in general or if member states should be able to work with an individual “opt-out clause”.
The statement also noted that a “number of member states also pointed out the international economic context which is very volatile at this point, due to Brexit and possible new financial regulations in the US for example”.
The statement said that further technical analysis of the effects of a FTT on the real economy and the pension funds will be carried out by the next meeting, which will take place at the end of March.