EUROPE - The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee is to discuss the latest draft of the EU pensions directive on Wednesday.

According to the agenda of the committee posted to the European Parliament’s website, the so-called “common position” of the new EU directive on pensions will be discussed when the committee meets in Brussels on November 27. The directive was formally received from the European Council of Finance Ministers last week.

The discussion will enable the committee to ready its proposals, prior to its second reading and a full parliamentary vote sometime in the new year.

Prior to the vote, UK members of the European Parliament have been urged to back the directive as it stands. The National Association of Pension Funds , the Confederation of British Industry and the Engineering Employers Federation have teamed up to urge British members of the European parliament to vote in favour of the directive.

They have written to the UK’s 87 MEPs calling on them to vote for the directive, which would enable large firms to run pan-European pension schemes.

In a letter to the MEPs, they say: “The directive represents a hard-won compromise between differing viewpoints but there is now a danger that amendments may be proposed which could upset the delicate balance that has been achieved.”

“If any changes are introduced at second reading to make the directive more prescriptive and restrictive, UK interests are likely to be better served without it,” the letter adds.

The NAPF and the employers groups are hoping that British MEPs reject any explicit social provision in the pensions directive.

“It is therefore vitally important that the current text of this directive passes unchanged. An amended directive could harm UK pension schemes at a time when many of them are already under threat.”