Fennell Betson reports from the International Conference held in Malaga

The influence of the Euro pean Federation for Retirement Provision has grown significantly, its retiring chairman Alan Broxon said in his valedictory address to the joint EFRP/NAPF international conference last month in Malaga. We are now well recognised as the organisation which speaks authoritively about supplementary pension schemes throughout the EU."

But he warned that this increase in influence was not matched by resources available. There was a limit to how much the member national assocaitions could provide. "We have decided that we need to look for financial support from those pension funds and other institutions who have a material interest in European issues." The sponsorship programme would enable the association to continue its important work in Brussels, particularly with the appointment of Chris Verhaegen as full-time representative.

On the challenges ahead, he referred to the Monti green paper on pensions and the impact of EMU on occupational schemes. "We still do not have a satisfactory answer to the migrant worker problem. And the equal treatment debate is certainly not over. There is some outstanding business regarding the question of unisex actuarial factors."

All EU countries were concerned about future pension liabilities. "The EFRP passionately believes that a gradual transfer of some of the future liabilities to a properly financed second pillar system will contribute some of the solution. It would, however, be misleading to suggest that a significant switch to second pillar is the solution, or even possible. We support the suggestion in the green paper that the first pillar needs adjustment so that it can be protected.""