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Aon Belgium wins mandate for pan-European scheme for researchers

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  • Brussels, Belgium

Aon Belgium has been awarded a four-year contract worth €4m for providing “support services” to the recently launched pan-European pension project for researchers.

The costs, along with other “initial set-up costs”, over the first four-year period will be covered by the European Commission.

A cross-border IORP is to be set up later this year, after a consortium of first supporters was named last autumn.

Aon had been helping to set up the project in recent years.

It also assisted the Task Force with its final report, in which the committee suggested the pension fund be set up under Belgian legislation as an OFP structure.

The Task Force shortlisted Belgium’s OFP, a trust-based arrangement in Ireland or a SEPCAV and ASSEP in Luxembourg as “the most practical locations”.

Ultimately, it named Belgium’s OFP as the “preferred” vehicle and said it was “fully in line” with the EU’s IORP Directive.

It also cited the fact the regulator is “accessible, open-minded and supportive”, there are no “quantitative investment and financing regulations” and the zero tax base.

In the report, Aon estimated the initial costs to be €3m for the first three years of the scheme. 

It said it would take 15 years for the fund to finance itself.

The IORP will be rolled out to EU member states this year and then be extended to include the whole of the EEA by 2018.

The Commission said the IORP would help employers in “attracting researchers in an increasingly competitive environment” and further assist the development of the European Research Area. 

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