Pickering to step down as EFRP chairman

Alan Pickering is to step down as chairman of the European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP) this month after three years in the role.

He told IPE that his nominated replacement at EFRP is Jaap Maassen, managing director of ABP Pensions in the Netherlands.

Pickering added he will continue in his role as a partner at consulting firm, Watson Wyatt Worldwide for many years to come.

His parting words were a warning on imminent EU regulation on age and sex discrimination that may affect pensions inadvertently. “Don’t lose sight of those other directives coming through,” he told a Dublin conference. He said that they could frustrate government policy on occupational pension provision.

Calling for a “skeletal” framework of rules, he said: “What we need is a common regulatory platform across Europe; a coming-together to throw away surplus regulatory tools.”

On commercial providers, Pickering claimed to have identified “outright hostility and hatred” between players in the European savings industry and even within large companies themselves.

Speaking on his native country, he rejected the call for compulsion: “Who are we going to compel and what are we going to compel them to do?”

Instead he called for the UK Pensions Commission to become a “permanent feature of the UK pensions landscape”.

And he called for long-term savings to be at the heart of the forthcoming UK general elections.

“It would be a travesty of democracy if the major parties didn’t go before the electorate with a set of proposals on pension_reform.”

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