EUROPE – The creation of a cross-border third-pillar pension system would allow the European Commission to incentivise investment in a recently proposed long-term vehicle, the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) has suggested.

Bernard Delbecque, director of economics and research at the organisation, suggested its proposed cross-border framework, the Officially Certified European Retirement Plan (OCERP), could boost the European Long-Term Investment Fund (LTIF) if plans for the vehicle came to fruition.

He told IPE: "From the perspective of the European Commission, why not consider there is a two-tier, win-win strategy?

"We are pushing for European products for retirement, long-term savings, and would even hope some incentives could be created to facilitate investment by OCERP into these ELTIF products."

The new fund structure was first proposed as part of the Commission's long-term investing Green Paper last year, and then presented to the European heads of state in June.

Delbecque said EMAFA's debate around the cross-border private pension model would be focused on standards, where it believed the association could make the make the largest contribution.

Discussing a report on OCERPs – not the first time the association has argued in favour of an EU-wide pension mode – he added: "What is probably new, and what you may have sensed, we are not talking too much about UCITS here. You have to look carefully about where UCITS is mentioned."

The association's director general, Peter De Proft, highlighted consumer protection and governance as two areas where he saw the proposed framework as assisting the European debate.

"As a blueprint for a European brand of personal pension products, the creation of the OCERP would help overcome the current fragmentation of the European pensions market and, thus, improve the cost-effectiveness of these products and their portability between member states," he said.

Delbecque said EFAMA would continue its dialogue with the European institutions, including the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), on how best to develop a framework, which it believes could result in a third-pillar vehicle being offered by asset managers, as well as existing pension funds, insurers and banks.

EIOPA is currently working on proposals for a more unified third-pillar system, and Delbecque said EFAMA had approached the regulator and discussed its proposals prior to the publication of the report, addressing some of EIOPA's concerns in advance.

He said he hoped to continue the dialogue in future.