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FEFSI sees “limited impact” of pension directive

BELGIUM – The European investment fund body FEFSI says that the European Pension Funds Directive that was passed by MEPs yesterday will have a “limited impact” on second-pillar pension coverage.

The Fédération Européenne des Fonds et Sociétés d'Investissement said that the political agreement that was reached at the parliament ignored amendments adopted by the Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee covering nationally and supervised institutions that offer funded occupational schemes.

“Consequently the directive will only cover pension funds and life-insurance companies and no other occupational pension schemes providers,” it said in a statement.

“The consequence of this restriction will be to limit the choice of occupational pension schemes and make the structure of the occupational pension market less competitive.”

It says that the directive will “have a limited impact on the extent to which employees in Europe, especially among small and medium-sized companies, will benefit from second-pillar pension coverage in the future”.

The statement strikes a discordant note. The vote at the European Parliament was widely welcomed by the Commission, consultants and pension and insurance bodies.

FEFSI said it welcomed the Commission’s saying that it would assess the possibility of extending the optional application of the directive to other regulated financial institutions.

Its secretary general, Steffen Matthias, said: “We strongly hope that the Commission will take this next step without delay as the creation of a level playing for financial operators is one of the key elements of an integrated single market for financial services.”

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