EUROPE – A member of the European Parliament, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, has warned that the fragmentation in European pensions has hit both savers and the wider economy.

García-Margallo y Marfil, who is vice chairman of the parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, warned “in particular that the fragmentation of, and the failure to harmonise, the internal market in supplementary pension schemes has reduced the opportunities and alternatives for savers”.

This prevented savers from obtaining the maximum return on their investments. This was “a situation which has resulted in a significant loss to the European economy, bearing in mind the key role which such schemes play in integrating, and guaranteeing efficiency and liquidity on, the European markets”.

This was in view of pension schemes’ “growing importance to the sustainability of social security systems in view of the fact that the Union’s population is ageing”.

García-Margallo y Marfil is a member of the Group of the European People's Party and European Democrats.

His comments come in a proposed amendment to a report on the current state of integration of Europe’s financial markets put together by a fellow committee member, Dutch MEP Ieke van den Burg. The report is pencilled in for discussion at a plenary session of the parliament on April 27.

Other MEPs’ amendments called for the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors to be involved in monitoring the “interaction between regulatory diversity and the implementation” of the EU’s Financial Services Action Plan.