European institutions have yet to agree a final stance on key measures proposed in the revised IORP Directive, according to Brian Hayes, with disagreements remaining on matters of cross-border funding and the use of depositories.
The Irish MEP – who, as IORP II rapporteur, is representing the European Parliament in closed-door trialogue negotiations with the European Commission and EU member states – said the ongoing discussions were “very intensive”.
While speaking at the launch of the business plan for a European pension-tracing service by the TTYPE Consortium, Hayes said he was hopeful IORP II discussions would conclude before the end of the Dutch presidency of the Council of the EU at the end of June.
“We have made progress in a number of key areas, but it’s fair to say quite a number of outstanding issues remain,” he said.
The MEP said the “whole question” of whether cross-border pension funds should be fully funded at all times remained unresolved, as did the cross-border transfer of pension assets.
“The whole question of depositories,” he added, “is an issue yet to be determined” – in spite of member states’ urging, since 2014, that the appointment of a depository should be decided at the national level based on the “nature, scale and complexity” of pension funds.
“But my central point is,” Hayes said, “with a fair wind and political support and determination, I hope we can conclude by the end of the Dutch presidency.”
He said it was his and the Parliament’s “firm view” that, when it came to authorising cross-border IORPs, there should only be a single point of regulatory authorisation.
Thomas Mann, fellow MEP and a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, previously spoke of the “pretty big row” brewing during trialogue negotiations over the designation of pension funds as financial service providers.
Hayes also threw his support behind the creation of a pension-tracking system, which the European Commission has agreed to support with a €2.5m grant covering the majority of the estimated €3.3m start-up costs associated with the venture.
He said the pilot of the venture was a “no-brainer” and that there was a necessity for tracking systems, including in his native Ireland.
His support for a European tracking service is in line with that of his own political party.
Fine Gael said in its manifesto for February’s Irish general election that it would support the launch of such a venture to help attract home Irish émigrés.