EUROPE - The European Association of Paritarian Institutions has a task force looking at the impact of portable pensions on the construction sector (amends to clarify earlier article).

"AEIP thinks in the construction sector the mobility of workers is high and therefore in the future this sector could be a pilot sector for a pan-European pension fund," it said. "However, this Task Force in cooperation with the social partners of the construction sector is currently only working on a study to assess the impact of portability in the pension schemes of this sector."

It comes as the European Parliament's economic committee is set to discuss the controversial pensions portability proposal at a meeting in Strasbourg on Monday (September 4).

AEIP secretary general Bruno Gabellieri was speaking at an AEIP conference, ‘Employees' saving accounts, retirement saving products and supplementary retirement funds in France and in Europe', in Paris.

He expressed optimism about the directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision.
"I am optimistic that the European pension fund directive will be in place in one year," he said - adding he was also optimistic about a compromise on the portability proposal.

Speakers at the conference discussed the evolution of the European second-pillar.

France's PERCO system has accrued assets worth close to €500m - with 25,000 companies and some 100,000 employees - said Société Générale Asset Management director Jean Baptiste Segard.

In Italy all open pension funds will have to create a governance structure after 1 January 2008, Sonia
Maffei, head of Retirement Provision and Real Estate at Assogestioni explained.

They have to chose managers which are unrelated to the fund they manage and the company that set up the fund.

Elsewhere, MEPs are set to revisit the thorny pensions portability proposal at a meeting in Strasbourg next week.

The improvement of the portability of supplementary pension rights is n the agenda for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs meeting.

The meeting takes place as MEPs gather for the first plenary session after the summer break.