EUROPE - The European Parliament's main economic committee has called on European Union member states to make progress on implementing the directive on occupational pension funds.

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has adopted a text on the state of European financial services - prepared by Dutch MEP Ieke van den Burg - which will now be tabled to a plenary session of the Parliament with a view to it becoming a resolution.

The Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision directive is set to come into force in September this year and there have been questions about its implementation at member state level.

The parliament, according to the text, "encourages the member states to make progress with the implementation of the IORP directive and to create an integrated internal market for supplementary pension fund investments".

This would "increase the opportunities and alternatives for savers and to provide them with maximum return on their investments".

Such schemes play a key role "in integrating, and guaranteeing efficiency and liquidity on, the European markets, and their growing importance to the sustainability of social security systems in view of the fact that the Union's population is ageing".

A warning over the fragmentation of European pensions schemes from Spanish MEP José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, which IPE reported last month, did not make it into the final text.

The MEPs have also called on the Commission to consider action on hedge funds.

It "notes the growth in the volume of assets managed through hedge funds and other collective savings products outside the scope of the UCITS directive".

And it also "notes the initiatives of the US Securities and Exchange Commission to register hedge fund managers and/or advisers, and urges the Commission to consider whether there is a need for action in the EU".