Brussels aiming to launch QIS for IORP Directive by mid-October
EUROPE - The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) is planning to send its advice on the launch of the quantitative impact study (QIS) for the revised IORP Directive to the European Commission by the end of this month, with the aim of launching the impact exercise by mid-October, IPE understands.
Following the consultation process on the QIS for the holistic balance sheet (HBS) approach, for which EIOPA received 117 responses, a spokeswoman from the authority told IPE in a previous interview that EIOPA was unsure whether it would be able to publish the feedback at the end of September as was originally planned.
But the European Commission is now aiming to stick with its original timetable and expects to launch the QIS around 19 October.
Chris Verhaegen, chair of EIOPA's Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group (OPSG), told IPE it was clear at the OPSG meeting last week that EIOPA did not expect to stray from the Commission's mandated timeline.
She added that EIOPA was working "very closely" with the Commission to prepare the QIS exercise.
The consultation paper was the first step towards an actual QIS exercise. Since the public consultation process - which ended on 31 July - EIOPA has been reviewing all the responses provided by the industry.
Under the original plan set by the Commission, EIOPA was expected to publish its feedback on the 117 responses at the end of this month, while sending its recommendation for conducting the QIS to the Commission.
The large volume of responses, however, has forced the authority to modify those plans.
While EIOPA still intends to send its technical specifications for conducting the QIS to the Commission for approval at the end of this month, it aims to publish its feedback on the responses at a later stage.
An EIOPA spokeswoman recently told IPE the authority's Occupational Pensions Committee was currently discussing the draft technical specifications.
Those technical standards will have to be approved by EIOPA's board of supervisors, which will meet on 28 September, before the authority can send its report to the Commission, she added.
According to Verhaegen, the Commission might then seek to review EIOPA's recommendations before the next seminar held by the authority in Frankfurt on 19 October.
During this seminar, the Commission and EIOPA will meet with the national regulators from the eight member states taking part in the QIS exercise to set out their plans and present the mechanism under which the QIS will operate.
"We expect the Commission to launch the QIS exercise at that stage," Verhaegen said.
"Brussels will then have two weeks to review the standards and decide whether to follow the recommendations made by EIOPA to launch the QIS or to amend them."