EUROPE - The proposed new supervisory authority replacing CEIOPS might not be as powerful as currently drafted, according to Gabriel Bernardino, the new chairman of CEIOPS.

At what might be the last CEIOPS conference - if all goes according to plan - Bernardino warned the future powers of the pension supervisor EIOPA are "a purely political decision".

Under current proposals, the new European supervisory authority is to be given the right to intervene under emergency circumstances, for example to settle pension scheme disputes between national supervisors.

"We at CEIOPS do not have a say in this but the current consensus among our members is that this is going a step too far," noted Bernardino.

The director-general of the Directorate for Development & Institutional Relations at the Instituto de Seguros de Portugal (ISP) in Lisbon took over chairmanship of CEIOPS in October, to replace the head of the German supervisor Bafin, Thomas Steffen.

Criticism of the powers of the new supervisory authorities has recently been voiced by the German finance ministry at a conference in Germany. (See earlier IPE story: Germany's BMF is critical of powerful EU supervisor)

"This proposal is part of the evolutionary approach to supervisory reform and the key issue is to find what is the step that we as Europe are prepared to take right now," Bernardino pointed out.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email