Lichtenberger leaves Commission's pensions unit after seven years
Jung-Duk Lichtenberger, co-author of the White Paper on Pensions, is to leave the European Commission’s insurance and pensions unit after seven years.
Lichtenberger will remain within the Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), overseen by commissioner Jonathan Hill, but take over the currently vacant post of deputy head of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) unit.
In an internal email seen by IPE, Lichtenberger said: “After having worked for more than seven years on developing the Single Market for pension funds, it is my time to move on. I look forward to staying in touch and to continue working on exciting projects.”
Lichtenberger will move to the unit responsible for the development of the CMU next week.
He will report to CMU unit head Niall Bohan, who was in charge of the asset management division within the now-defunct Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services (DG MARKT) during José Manuel Barroso’s presidency.
Bohan moved to take charge of the new unit when the CMU policy was unveiled in 2014 by current president Jean-Claude Juncker.
Although the CMU unit will be a departure from pensions, it is still likely to deal with pension matters, as Hill previously identified the “underdeveloped” nature of the personal pensions market as a hurdle to the project’s success.
To that end, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority this week published a consultation on a new pan-European personal pension regime.
Prior to joining the Commission, Lichtenberger worked for the European Central Bank, writing research papers for the institution.
He studied at the University of Hull and the University of Warwick, both in the UK, and the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Reims in France.
During his time at DG MARKT, he authored the 2012 White Paper on Pensions and was more recently involved in the revised version of the IORP Directive.
At the time, the White Paper backed the idea of a level playing field between insurers and pension funds.
Lichtenberger has since seemingly distanced himself from the idea, telling a conference earlier this year that there were “no plans to introduce Solvency II [for pension funds] through the back-door”, casting doubt on Hill’s returning to the matter in the foreseeable future after it was abandoned by predecessor Michel Barnier in 2013.