PensionsEurope is in talks with a number of companies in Europe and abroad to join its newly launched multinational advisory group, which aims to give large companies a voice on pensions-related issues.

Speaking with IPE, Matti Leppäla, chief executive at PensionsEurope, said multinationals were an important part of the debate around pensions, confronted as they are by capital, reporting and governance requirements set under the revised IORP Directive, and the shift from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC).

“We at PensionsEurope need to engage with many actors, including European social partners, financial market organisations and multinationals,” Leppäla said.

“We have done so over the past two years, but that will now be done on a regular basis. That will help us create some alliances and strong relations.”

Leppäla said PensionsEurope wanted to be “fully aware” of multinationals’ issues and the problems they faced as early as possible and on a wide variety of topics.

“This group will enable multinationals to have a place within PensionsEurope with the view to discussing these issues on a regular basis,” he said.

“They will be able to give us their opinion and their advice.”

While Leppäla stressed that all the policy decisions would remain within PensionsEurope and its members, the advice received from multinationals would be “highly valued”.

So far, five multinational pensions funds including Shell have joined the advisory group, which will be based in Paris.

According to Leppäla, PensionsEurope is now in talks with other companies to join.

Under the agreement set with PensionsEurope, the group will meet twice a year.

One meeting will be in connection with the JP Morgan Pension Forum that takes place every year in Paris, while PensionsEurope will organise the other this spring.

“The secretary of PensionsEurope will help the group organise its meetings and set its own agenda,” Leppäla said.

“Once up and running, the multinationals within the group will meet to elect their own chair, who will hold the role for a period of two years, with the possibility of being re-elected at least once.”