The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has delivered the first output of its work to facilitate the national implementation of the revised EU pension fund directive.

The supervisory authority published a report that set out principles and guidance for the new annual pension benefit statement requirement under IORP II.

The regulator said the report was aimed at policymakers and national authorities, but also intended as a source of “inspiration” for pension funds or insurers responsible for issuing pension benefit statements.

“In an environment in which more risk is placed on the member, the importance of receiving adequate information on the second pillar retirement income is growing,” said EIOPA.

To fulfil the aim of a pension benefit statement, it added, the approach to its design needed to shift from “a rather legalistic and compliance to a behavioural approach”.

EIOPA also identified the following principles for the design and content of a pension benefit statement:

  • The design should be effective, attractive, easy-to-read and the information should be layered to help the member find key information at a glance and navigate easily through the content to find answers to his/her questions
  • Pension projections should be presented in real terms and in relation to the current income of the member so they can better understand their purchasing power after retirement;
  • The statement should enable the member to understand the impact of costs on their pension entitlements and to compare pension scheme cost levels;
  • It should integrate and complement the communication tools already in place within individual EU countries, such as online pension dashboards or calculators; and
  • Information contained in a pension benefit statement “should be comparable to other [such statements] at national level, to allow for financial planning”.

The regulator said it had “duly considered different possible options as well as the potential costs and benefits for relevant stakeholders, including IORPs, members and national competent authorities”.

“EIOPA will continue to promote consistent practices at national level, including the development of examples of standardised designs of the pension benefit statement,” it added.

EIOPA’s report can be read here.