EUROPE - The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has extended the period for the second consultation exercise on the reform of workplace-based pensions legislation (IORP) to January 2012.

The decision taken by EIOPA to extend the consultation process for market participants and occupational pensions stakeholders to the beginning of next year came as a surprise.

The pension industry broadly expected the consultation period would last one month only as it was previously the case this summer.

In April 2011, the European Commission asked EIOPA to provide advice on the legislative framework for IORP.

As part of this advice, EIOPA invited market participants and occupational pensions stakeholders, between 8 July and 15 August this year, to give their input on the scope of the IORP directive, the definition of cross-border activity, the scope of prudential regulation, and several aspects of the governance of IORP.

The first consultation addressed nine out of 23 areas defined in the Call for Advice (CfA) and 49 responses were received.

With this second consultation period, the EIOPA is now seeking input on all 23 areas of the CfA, including the nine areas that were addressed in the first consultation in July-August.

Yesterday, IPE reported that areas for consultation were to include: prudential regulation; the impact on national social and labour law; supervision of outsourced functions and activities, as well as general governance requirements; internal control systems, internal audit, and outsourcing.

The consultation process starts today, Tuesday 25 October, and will end on 2 January 2012.

Stakeholders, market participants and interested parties can access the consultation paper on the EIOPA web site.