EUROPE - The European Federation for Retirement Provision has published a legal commentary on the European Union's directive on occupational pension funds.

The move comes amid what it terms "slow and piecemeal" implementation of the directive by European Union member states.

The EFRP says the 69-page commentary, by Simon Arnot of law firm Steptoe & Johnson in Brussels, is "the first comprehensive, article-by-article legal analysis of the directive to be put in the public domain". It is freely available on request.

"We hope that thorough discussion and analysis in advance of the implementation date will reduce the inevitable areas of misunderstanding and conflict to a minimum," says EFRP chairman Alan Pickering in the foreword to the commentary.

The launch of the commentary is timed to coincide the first meeting, on October 22, of member state regulators to review progress of the implementation of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision directive.

The commentary follows on from the EFRP's ‘EIORP 2005’ report but focuses on the directive as a legal framework for all IORPs, domestic and cross-border.

"The EFRP has long recognized the need to put forward an argued, comprehensive view of the directive in advance of the implementation date of 23 September 2005," the group said.

"As yet, most member states have moved slowly and in a piecemeal manner in implementing the directive. However, the pace of national and cross-border activity is starting to quicken

October 22 sees the "first and perhaps only" meeting of the so-called 'transposition group' where representatives of all member states will meet Commission officials to discuss potential bottlenecks and problem areas.