EUROPE – Italy’s industry-wide occupational pension fund association, Assofondipensione, and the Italian asset management association, Assogestioni, will join the European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP) as full members on 1 January 2006.

EFRP chairman Jaap Maassen said: “It is another step strengthening the EFRP as the EU-level representative organisation for occupational and supplementary pension providers.”

Maassen told IPE that the EFRP is looking forward to incorporating as many new members as possible and is also looking to welcome organisations from more central and eastern European countries.

As well as including member organisations from 14 of the of EU 15, Greece being the odd one out, it has been joined by associations from Hungary and Poland from the latest enlargement, and from non-EU members Croatia, Guernsey, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, the EFRP has named three new directors.

Robin Ellison of the UK, Klaus Stiefermann of Germany and Vincent Vandier of France were elected to the board at the EFRP’s general assembly in Zurich.

“There are changes to the board every 12 months,” EFRP chairman Jaap Maassen told IPE. “People step down and are replaced because the regulations require it.”

Ellison is chairman of the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and head of strategic development pensions at law firm Pinsent Masons, Stiefermann is managing director of Germany’s Association of Company Pension Schemes (aba), and Vandier is executive director of the French Association of Pension Funds (AFPEN).

Wil Beckers, chairman of the DSM pension fund in the Netherlands, was re-elected to a new term as a director.

Joachim Schwind, chief executive of Germany’s multi-company Hoechst Pensionskasse and chairman of the aba Pensionskasse committee, and Peter Thompson, former NAPF chairman and chief executive of its corporate governance arm, RREV, stepped down.

The EFRP groups the most national associations of pension funds and similar institutions for pension provision in Europe.

In addition to Maassen, Ellison, Stiefermann, Vandier and Beckers, the new board consists of Spanish vice-chairman Angel Martinez-Aldama and Swedish vice-chairman Peter Lindblad, Christian Böhm of Austria, Nora Finn of Ireland and Anne Seiersen of Denmark.