FRANCE - BNP Paribas has launched a division aimed at the expanding French pensions market.

The move follows BNP Paribas’ launch of a pension Sicav in December as part of a new range of retirement products.

BNP Paribas says the new unit, BNP Paribas Epargne & Retraite Entreprises, will bring together the saving plans and collective pensions expertise of the company’s BNP Paribas Epargne Enterprise and BNP Paribas Assurance branches into one entity.

The company claims the new department will better serve the expanding French pension market following last year’s French pension reforms under the Fillon Law.

The law, passed in August last year, created two new schemes for retirement saving. These are a voluntary employee savings partnership plan for retirement (PPESVR) and an individual retirement savings plan (PEIR). Both are defined contribution schemes.

The new division aims to offer pensions “products and services which suit every segment of the industry, from the individual entrepreneur to the bigger groups,” BNP Paribas said in a statement.

As part of the new division, a 45-strong sales team and more than 3,000 advisers will be available to French companies.

Among the assessment criteria, BNP Paribas said it would consider whether the company prefers annuities to lump sums, or the pension should target individual workers or groups, or whether it should be on a voluntary basis.

In December the bank unveiled a study which showed that while the French see retirement as fresh start in life, they were generally ill-informed as to how they would finance it.