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Frankfurt to house EU occupational pensions group

EUROPE – European Union finance ministers have decided to locate the occupational pensions supervisory committee in Frankfurt.

The economic and financial affairs committee of the European Council, or Ecofin, decided at a meeting in Brussels yesterday on the locations of three supervisory committees set up as part of the Lamfalussy process.

According to the Ecofin communiqué, the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors, or CEIOPS, would be located in Frankfurt.

The Committee of European Securities Regulators, CESR, would be in Paris while the Committee of European Banking Supervisors, CEBS, would be in London.

“These Committees form part of a modern and streamlined decision-making structure for financial services with the aim of improved regulatory and supervisory co-operation,” said the Commission in a separate statement.

“They are composed of national supervisory authorities and not only give technical advice to the Commission on implementing measures but also aims to ensure the consistent implementation of EU financial services law in the member states.”

Chris Verhaegen, secretary general of the Brussels-based European Federation for Retirement Provision, said she understood the “political logic” behind the Frankfurt location. “We will work with these committees wherever they are established,” she said.

"Yesterday's decision by Ecofin seems to be dictated more by internal politics of Member States to balance their national ambition to host a seat of an EU body rather than by the logic of efficiency,” said Leonardo Sforza, head of EU Affairs at Hewitt Associates.

“On the substance, it is positive that Ministers agreed to set up the committee without any further delay. Eventually this should help towards a better implementation of the EU pension fund directive."

The Commission announced the formation of the committees in November last year as part of a series of measures to help it respond to developments in the financial sector. CEIOPS came into effect from November 24. It also set up an advisory group called the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Committee, or EIOPC.

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