The market for cross-border Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs) has returned to expansion over the last 12 months, after two years of contraction or stagnation, according to official figures.

The number of IORPs rose to 86 by 1 June this year, a report on cross-border IORP activity by the European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority (EIOPA) showed.

This compares with 82 IORPs reported to be authorised in last year’s report.

The 2013 report showed cross-border IORP numbers had fallen to 82 from 84, with that decline coming on the back of the 2012 figures, where the quantity of workplace schemes remained unchanged from the year previous.

In the 12 months to the beginning of June, there were eight new cross-border IORP authorisations and four withdrawals.

However, EIOPA said two of the stated withdrawals were simply the result of an error in reporting the previous year, which suggested the growth in overall cross-border IORPs this year was even stronger, with a net increase of six IORPs.

The latest report includes new data for the first time, which EIOPA says should give a more comprehensive and detailed overview of the European occupational pensions landscape as a whole.

New information includes the total number of IORPs and related insurers in the EEA, an estimate of the assets they hold and data on the number of active cross-border IORPs as opposed to those simply registered as such.

For the first time, the survey also gives an overview of the host countries to the active cross-border IORPs as well as an overview of which countries act as home and host countries.

Most of the 86 authorised IORPs were from the UK, Ireland or Belgium, with these countries home to 29, 33 and 12 schemes, respectively.

Of the 86 cross-border IORPs in the EEA, 75 were actively operating.

All of the UK’s 29 authorised IORPs were active, compared with 25 of Ireland’s 33 IORPs and 11 of Belgium’s 12.