EUROPE - European insurers have called for the principle of 'same risks, same rules' to be applied to the regulations covering life insurers, institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs) and mutual funds offering guaranteed benefits.

Responding to the European Commission's Green Paper on pensions, the European insurance and reinsurance federation (CEA) - which represents undertakings that account for around 95% of total European insurance premium income - complained that the new Solvency II regulatory regime applied risk-based valuation and regulatory capital requirements for the insurance industry while the IORP directive still followed a non-risk based approach.

The CEA said applying Solvency II-type rules to IORPs would strengthen the single market for pensions, address regulatory gaps and avoid regulatory arbitrage.

However, it added that the application of Solvency II principles to pension funds should at the same time a take into consideration the "economically significant differences" between pension products and schemes.
Michaela Koller, director general of the CEA, said: "We can see no reason why Solvency II principles should be appropriate for only one significant segment of the industry.

"The EC must launch an immediate project - including an impact assessment - for the application of Solvency II-type regulatory principles to IORPs."

The Commission's green paper is currently being debated in the European Parliament's relevant committees.