EC takes portability directive forward

EUROPE - The European Commission (EC) is breathing live into the recently-shelved EU pensions portability directive again through new proposals to the European Parliament.

Speaking yesterday at the first day of ABP's European Pensions Summit in Heerlen, in the Netherlands, Nicolaas van der Pas, director general for employment, social affairs and equal opportunity at the EC said the commission has drafted a new proposal covering the protection of pensions against inflation and clearer rules about the ages at which rights can be claimed.

The last proposal was rejecetd by the EC's council of ministers earlier this year because of a lack of consensus between member states, said Van der Pas, but the European Parliament is now said to be pushing to move the issue forward.

"We have decided, and I think the European Parliament has encouraged us to do so, that transportability of those pensions is probably a bridge too far," explained Van der Pas.

"The fears of the financial consequences are such that we have to think about this further, we have to look into this in more details," he added.

However, he outlined the EC's move forward by revealing elements of the directive are being reviewed in the hope of providing "the protection of those pensions against inflation and that we can do something in order to get better and clearer rules about the traditional periods, and the ages at which the rights can be claimed".

Van der Pas said the EC is now working on a new proposal that scheduled to go to the European parliament and the council "rather soon".

"We hope that, on that basis, we get at least these first steps in a much wider dossier of the occupational pensions. I think that would be a good signal, in a much wider context," he concluded.

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