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Asset managers call for pension tax consistency

EUROPE – There has been a new call for consistency in European pension taxation, this time in a report prepared by asset management industry figures.

“With many people within the EU working over the course of their lives within different EU countries, there is a growing need for consistency to enable people to transfer their pension capital,” the report stated.

“As workers build up a portfolio of pensions savings accumulated in various jurisdictions, there is a strong case for treating in equally in terms of tax.”

Last week IPE reported Marek Gora, one of the architects of Poland’s pension reform, as calling for a single European pension taxation and fee regime.

The latest comments came in a 72-page report called
‘Building of an integrated European fund management: Cross-border merger of funds, a quick win?’

The report added that the increased pressure on pay-as-you-go pension systems would lead to higher demand for capital-market based pension systems.

“If Europe’s approach to pension reform has been cautious thus far, the mathematics of declining dependency ratios and PAYG pension systems is likely to mean that countries such as France, Germany and Italy have little alternative but to seek alternative, capital-market based systems (albeit that such alternatives may only compliment, rather than necessarily replace existing PAYG models).”

And it said that a “stronger and more efficient European fund management industry” would contribute to making pension and public finance more manageable.

It also stated that immigration by itself would “do little to offset the rate at which Europe ages or the problems of declining dependency ratios” – as immigrants would “age at the same rate as any other Europeans”.

It said Europe's future pension liabilities “already surpass the value of the financial assets available to European households”.

“Such liabilities will only increase as the number of retired people increases relative to the number of people working and paying taxes.”

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