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Martinez-Aldama hopeful on pan-European pensions

EUROPE – Angel Martinez-Aldama, the head of the Spain’s pension association and vice chairman of the European Federation for Retirement Provision, has expressed hopes that pan-European pension funds will be soon be a reality.

“Recent initiatives taken by the European Court of Justice (Case Danner and Case Skandia) and the infringement procedures opened by the European Commission against eight Member States in accordance with EU legislation, give us enough hope that pan-European pension funds will be a reality sooner than later,” Martinez-Aldama said.

Writing in the foreword to the new 2004 edition of ‘Pension Funds and their Advisors’, Martinez-Aldama – who is also chairman of the World Pension Association - welcomed the approval of the EU pension fund directive, Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision.

He added: “The EFRP will concentrate its efforts in achieving a harmonised implementation in the 25 European Union countries, although it will not be easy because of the differences in occupational pensions around Europe.”

He cited highly developed funded schemes in the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark and Switzerland which compares to France’s pay-as-you-go system, the book reserve “compromises” in Germany, Austria and Luxemburg and “underdeveloped” funded systems in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

“The favourable reception to the directive must be regarded as a testimony to the combined efforts of those working within the EU and the EFRP over the past decade,” said the guide’s editor, Derek Kelly.

“The successful co-operation between lawmakers and industry representatives that made giant step possible surely represents the optimal modus operandi for future developments in policy affecting pension funds.”

The 1,248-page guide, now in its fifth edition, is known as the ‘Red Book’ and is published by Aspire Publications, a joint venture between IPE and AP Information Services.

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