EUROPE – Othmar Karas, the Austrian MEP who was the rapporteur for the occupational pension fund directive, has proposed bringing UCITS investment funds within the directive’s scope.

Karas says “the market for occupational pension provision should be expanded and made more competitive”.

“To this end, undertakings such as UCITS management companies could be brought with the scope of Directive 2003/41/EC.”

Directive 2003/41/EC on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision, commonly known as the pension fund directive, came into force in September last year.

“UCITS are an appropriate and promising instrument for a sustainable retirement pension system,” Karas said. The comments come in a proposed amendment to a motion for a resolution on asset management at the European Parliament.

There are 155 amendments to a previous report on asset management compiled by fellow MEP Wolf Klinz of Germany.

Klinz himself has tabled an amendment calling on the European securities and pensions & insurance committees to work together on pensions.

He calls on “CESR and CEIOPS to work towards greater regulatory convergence in pooling and considers that in the field of pensions a joint cooperation of both committees would be necessary”.

Pervenche Berès, chair of the parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, has written an amendment seeking regulatory convergence between the two committees “taking account of the specific nature of UCITS built up around pension funds or employee share-ownership”.