A new “robust and secure” funding model for the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) will be unveiled next year, the European Commission has pledged.

Without offering further details of the new funding arrangement, Olivier Guersent, the most senior civil servant within the directorate general Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, told the EIOPA conference in Frankfurt on Thursday that a White Paper outlining the new model would be published in 2016.

Reform of the funding model for the European Supervisory Authorities (ESA) has been on the agenda of financial stability commissioner Jonathan Hill since taking office late last year.

When president Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed Hill as his candidate for the finance portfolio, he said it would fall to the new commissioner to “eliminate” any funding from the EU and national budgets to the ESAs, moving towards an industry-wide levy.

Gabriel Bernardino, EIOPA’s chairman, later noted he had long been clear that a new funding model for the ESAs was required, and hoped it would be in place as soon as possible.

“The situation right now, it’s really hurting from the perspective of the job that we need to do, and the kind of inflexible approach to budget we have is definitely not in line with the expectations,” he told journalists in a press conference on the sidelines of the EIOPA conference.

Bernardino also reiterated his support for the continuation of the occupational pensions stakeholder group (OPSG), which the letter from Juncker in September initially suggested would be merged with its insurance counterpart.

“To merge them, I think, would dilute discussions that are very important for the different sectors,” Bernardino said, “so I want to have, and continue, with the approach we have.”

Guersent repeatedly praised the work undertaken by EIOPA and said the body’s importance would only grow in future.

He said it was important EIOPA and the two other ESAs became “more than a gathering of national supervisors”.

“I think this is the key to their success,” he said. 

Guersent also defended the Commission’s decision to push ahead with the pan-European personal pensions (PEPP) model developed by EIOPA, recently criticised by the Dutch government, and said he was so impressed with the idea of a single, Europe-wide system for the third pillar that a green paper on retail saving due before the end of 2015 would include details of a 29th regime for life insurance products.

“Despite the known barriers, we must work to create a genuine single market for insurance and pensions, with more cross-border sales and better portability of products,” he added.

Guersent said he looked forward to EIOPA’s final advice on PEPPs by early next year, and that personal pensions could play an important role in a number of member states that had so far not developed an occupational pension system.

“I do not share the scepticism of some stakeholders about 29th regimes,” he added, citing the UCITS fund model as an example of a successful European model.

“We need to plant a seed, and we need to allow it to grow.”