EUROPE - The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) might delay the launch of the quantitative impact study (QIS) for the revised IORP Directive due to the particularly high number of responses received from to its last consultation paper on the matter, a spokeswoman has told IPE.

EIOPA's spokeswoman told IPE the authority received 117 responses in total to the consultation on the QIS for the 'holistic balance sheet' (HBS) approach.

The feedback received from the industry comprises both public and confidential responses and represents around 1,300 pages, the spokeswoman added.

However, EIOPA's spokeswoman was not in the position to disclose the exact number of responses received from the countries participating in the QIS and those acting as observers, such as Liechtenstein and Norway, arguing that a number of them were confidential.

The consultation paper is a first step towards an actual QIS exercise. Following the public consultation process - which ended on 31 July - EIOPA will now review all the responses provided by the industry before sending its summary to the European Commission.

Once the summary has been received, the Commission will, in turn, have to approve EIOPA's methodology before the authority can launch the formal QIS on the holistic balance sheet approach.

EIOPA's spokeswoman said: "The experts working on the directive are not sure whether they will be in the position to publish the feedback at the end of September as it was originally planned.

"We were hoping to send our report to the Commission by then, in order to start conducting the QIS mid-October."

It is believed that EIOPA will publish its conclusion mid- or late autumn, meaning that the launch of the QIS might be postponed.

The team currently analysing the responses will give its opinion on the timetable later in September and will decide whether it remains "feasible" to send its conclusion to the Commission at the end of the month, she added.

However, even if EIOPA manages to publish its conclusion at the end of September as originally planned, it might be difficult for the Commission to give the authority the go-ahead for the launch of the QIS in just two weeks.

IPE therefore understands that the formal launch of the QIS might not happen until November or December at the earliest, meaning the implementation of the draft revised IORP Directive could be postponed further.

Speaking at the annual conference of Insurance Europe - the insurance and reinsurance federation previously known as CEA - the commissioner for the internal market, Michel Barnier, confirmed the Commission would not publish any proposals on the revised IORP directive before next summer instead of December this year, as originally planned.

The rumours over the potential delay of the QIS started in April this year with two sources close to the Commission telling IPE that EIOPA was in talks with the European Commission to revise the timeline with regards to the implementation of the revised IORP Directive.