EUROPE – The chairman of the European Federation for Retirement Provision has been quoted saying a “lack of trust” between regulators is more of an obstacle to pan-European pensions than the taxation issue.

"I think the tax obstacle to pan-European pensions is easier to overcome than a lack of trust between the different regulators and supervisors," Alan Pickering was quoted as saying in an interview with Reuters.

The remarks follow the EFRP’s recent comments that the remit of the European Union’s new pension and insurance committees could “hamper” discussion on how finance issues fit with social and labour law.

"There's a real danger in this post-Enron environment that regulators will be watching their own backs and fail to trust one another," Pickering was quoted as saying.

Pickering, a partner at consulting firm Watson Wyatt, is the author of the “A Simpler Way to Better Pensions” report in 2002 and chairman of the Plumbing Industry Pension Scheme, He is a former chairman of the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds.