Institution de Prévoyance Austerlitz, one of France’s so-called provident institutions, has been given regulatory approval to set up an occupational pension fund.

The number of these vehicles has been growing slowly since they were made possible by a 2016 law, with IP Austerlitz the fifth benefit provider to obtain authorisation from ACPR, the supervisor for banks and insurance entities.

Aviva got the ball rolling in late 2018, followed last year by Malakoff Médéric and Sacra, while the provident institution in the Banque Populaire group got the green light in November for the creation of its own vehicle.

Generally known as “fonds de retraite professionelle supplémentaire” (FRPS), the vehicles are France’s version of a pension fund and were made possible by 2016 legislation known as “loi Sapin”.

The idea is to allow different categories of insurance entities to transfer portfolios out from under the Solvency II regulatory framework to a regulatory framework combining elements of the IORP Directive and Solvency II, but not the latter’s capital charges and certain other requirements.

As a result of the creation of these new vehicles this year for the first time there was French participation in the pension fund stress tests carried out by EIOPA.

The EU pensions supervisor identified Aviva Retraite Professionnelle, MM Retraite Supplémentaire, Société Anonyme de Consolidation des Retraites de l’Assurance (Sacra) as the participating IORPs from France.