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EFRP to complain to EU over pension tax

EUROPE - The European Federation for Retirement Provision plans to make a formal complaint to the European Commission over discriminatory pension taxation.

EFRP chairman Jaap Maassen has told taxation commissioner László Kovacs that both the EFRP and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers are preparing formal complaints on the discriminatory tax treatment of pension institutions.

The complaint concerns cross-border transfers of pension capital and payments of dividends and interest to foreign pension funds.

The Brussels-based group said details of the complaints would be made public when they are formalised.

The move comes as the European Commission has indicated that six European Union member states are not yet ready for the pensions directive, Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision, which is due to be implemented on September 23.

The EFRP says it has presented Kovacs with two reports, from the EFRP and PWC, on the issue.

In the first report, the EFRP found that a number of member states have legislation which may be in breach of the EC Treaty.

And the second - which summarised PWC findings - found that pension funds suffer discriminatory treatment when making cross-border investments in equities or bonds.

Maassen, who is director of pensions at Europe's largest pension fund ABP, said he was satisfactied at the action the Commission has already taken against some member states over pension tax discrimination.

Maassen said it was urgent to stop tax discrimination of pan-European activities of pension funds - especially in view of the forthcoming implementation of the directive.

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