The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has named the members of the occupational pensions stakeholder group that will be advising it over the coming years, with a growth in the number of representatives from Ireland standing out as a change.

There are now three pension fund representatives from Ireland on the Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group (OPSG), compared with one during the previous term.

Ireland is moving towards automatic enrolment to boost pensions coverage and pensions adequacy; the legislation introducing the new system passed parliament last week.

The new institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORP) representatives from Ireland on the OPSG are Lisa Buckley, from Zurich Ireland Master Trust, and Jim Foley, from Trustee Decisions.

They join Jerry Moriarty, who is chair of PensionsEurope but on the OPSG as chief executive officer of the Irish Association of Pension Funds.

The OPSG has 30 members and advises EIOPA regarding a range of actions, from detailed rules to assessment of market developments. Members of the group can also submit opinions and advice to EIOPA on any issue related to its tasks.

During its last mandate, for example, the OPSG developed a discussion paper on introducing a pan-European occupational pension product, advice on EIOPA’s technical advice on greenwashing risks and supervision of sustainable finance products, and on the review of the IORP II Directive.

The revision of the European Union pension fund legislation will be a key pensions-related aspect of the next EU political cycle, and one that OPSG members will likely be watching closely.

The OPSG is composed of representatives of beneficiaries, employees, independent academics, IORPs, professional associations and SMEs.

‘Many crucial issues in funded pensions’

There are 13 IORP representatives on the new group, with the new faces also including Dijana Bojceta Markoja, from the Association of Pension Funds and Insurance Companies in Croatia.

Simone Miotto, CEO of the European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP), is a new IORP representative member, although Bruno Gabellieri, former secretary general of AEIP, was on the previous OPSG with AEIP listed as an employee representative.

The following were reappointed to the OPSG group:

  • Francesco Briganti, Cross Border Benefits Alliance Europe;
  • Valdemar Duarte, Portuguese Association of Investment Funds, Pension Funds and Asset Management (APFIPP);
  • Matti Leppälä, PensionsEurope;
  • Antonello Motroni, Assoeuropea;
  • Stefan Nellshen, Bayer Pensionskasse;
  • Philip Neyt, Pensioeninvest;
  • Onno Steenbeek, APG Group.

Insurance Europe was an IORP representative on the previous OPSG but is now represented by Nicolas Jeanmart rather than Olav Jones.

In a statement, PensionsEurope said the selection of Moriarty and Leppälä to the group “reflects their exceptional expertise and commitment to the field of occupational pensions”.

“This appointment ensures that PensionsEurope will continue to contribute to key discussions and decisions shaping the future of pensions in Europe,” the group said.

Leppälä added: “We are facing many crucial issues in funded pensions and the OPSG is an important place for the good interaction between EIOPA and various stakeholders.”

The OPSG, like its counterpart for insurance, meets at least four times a year at EIOPA’s premises in Frankfurt am Main and a fifth time jointly with EIOPA’s board of supervisors. The full new membership can be viewed online.

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