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IPE special report May 2018

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EIOPA expects to publish full HBS proposals by 2015

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  • The European Commission

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The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) may not be able to publish its proposals for a holistic balance sheet (HBS) before 2015, according to chairman Gabriel Bernardino.

Speaking at the EIOPA conference in Frankfurt, the chairman also said there was an obligation for second and third pillar pensions to draw up a key investor document (KID) for their clients.

“We are all waiting for the proposal on a revised IORP Directive, which will be a fundamental step going forward,” Bernadino noted.

But he added of proposals for the HBS, included in the Directive’s first pillar and later postponed by internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier: “There had been a clear word from the commission welcoming further work on the pillar I elements and that is our work programme for next year.”

According to the EIOPA chairman the number of options for the HBS “will be narrowed down” from the current number of proposals.

However, he said that this would be counteracted by a fleshing out of the proposals, such as which discount rate to apply to long-term investments, questions on how to value sponsor support, but also how national regulators would respond to an HBS approach.

“For example will a supervisor immediately push for additional funding – that is not how we intended it,” Bernadino pointed out.

He expects a proposal to be delivered late next year or “possibly in 2015”. 

On the question of further information and transparency requirements for pension providers, Bernadino reiterated EIOPA’s position set out in its advice to the commission on the IORP that “we want key investor documents (KID) for pensions, specifically for DC pensions within the second pillar” and “for personal pensions of course we need to have it”.

This afternoon the European Parliament is voting on the PRIPs Directive on information requirements for investment products, which German pension association aba has warned could also end up covering second pillar pensions.

Bernadino said whether further information disclosure requirements for pensions were introduced “in one or the other piece of legislation is not my concern”.

The chairman said: “We need to have progress in this area, we need KID which in both pillars deliver better, not more information.”

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