European pension statistics will be “significantly enhanced” as a result of new reporting requirements, according to the European pension fund supervisory authority.

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) today announced it had made a final decision about requirements for the reporting of information about occupational pension funds by national supervisory authorities.

With this decision, EIOPA said, it had “defined a single framework for regular information requests towards national competent authorities… to effectively monitor and assess the European occupational pensions sector, with a particular focus on effects to [sic] financial stability”.

The framework would facilitate smooth and efficient reporting processes and enable “appropriate monitoring” and “thorough assessments” of market developments to do with occupational pensions. EIOPA would also be able to carry out in-depth economic analyses of the occupational pension market as a result, it said.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has also introduced pension fund reporting requirements, having adopted a regulation for this at the end of February.

The ECB and EIOPA came to their final positions after hearing concerns from pension funds about the burden the requirements could cause. EIOPA said its consultation process had been “intensive”.

A spokeswoman said EIOPA had collaborated very closely with the ECB and achieved “a high-level of convergence between the reporting regimes, which would enable a ‘single data flow’ and streamlined reporting processes for industry”. The ECB has made similar comments.

There are three main types of information to be submitted to EIOPA: balance sheet information, inputs and assumptions used for valuations, and flow data.

The former is intended to allow EIOPA to assess a pension fund’s financial and solvency position.

Information about the inputs and assumptions used for valuations, meanwhile, would provide “comparable information of highly complex and divergent European occupational pensions sector with the aim to understand specific market characteristics”. 

Flow data would allow trends to be detected and the reasons for changes from one reporting year to another to be analysed.

EIOPA’s requirements for quarterly reporting will apply from the third quarter of 2019. Annual reports will apply from 2019 onwards, taking into account a transition period and a specific approach for smaller pension funds. 

The first reporting deadline under the ECB regulation will also begin with the third quarter of 2019, later than the original proposal.

PensionsEurope, the European pension fund lobby group, has previously questioned the legal basis for EIOPA’s information gathering.