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Brussels calls for debate over pan-European pension product

The European Commission calls for input on the debate over a pan-European pension product

The European Commission is inviting pension funds, asset managers, insurance undertakings, individuals, consumers associations and public authorities to join the debate on the need for a pan-European pension product during a public hearing to be held on 24 October in Brussels.

The hearing is part of the Commission’s work to consider proposals for a simple, efficient and competitive EU personal pension product. More investment into personal pensions could contribute to a stronger single market for capital through an increase in the funds available to finance the economy, as highlighted in the Commission communication ‘Capital Markets Union, accelerating reform’, adopted on 14 September.

Vice-presidents of the Commission Valdis Dombrovskis and Jyrki Katainen, and commissioner Marianne Thyssen, will deliver keynote speeches. Prominent representatives of industry, consumer associations and academia will provide their views and take part in panel debates. All participants are invited to join the debate on key topics:

  • Is there a need for promoting personal pensions in the EU? How can the current demographic challenges be addressed?

Complementing public pensions and occupational pensions with personal pensions could be beneficial to individuals, increasing the choices for retirement savings, and to the wider economy, contributing to the creation of a capital markets union.

  • How should a European personal pension product look like?

A European personal pension product should be an attractive choice of saving for individuals and create benefits for providers. An adequate level of investment protection, transparency and the potential for good returns could attract savings from individuals. Economies of scale and efficiency gains, as well as cross-border passporting and distribution, could be among the benefits for providers operating in a European personal pension’s market.

  • What are the challenges of a European personal pensions framework?

Switching between personal pension products, domestic products and, when moving across borders, the decumulation of retirement savings and the general tax treatment of personal pension products remain important challenges to creating a single market for personal pensions. 

The hearing will provide important feedback from stakeholders to determine if EU action fostering the emergence of European personal pension products that are simple, affordable, transparent and provide better returns, would be appropriate and proportionate. The hearing also feeds into a public consultation due by 31 October.

For more information on the hearing and registration, click here

To respond to the public consultation, click here.  

Philippe Caluwaerts is policy officer for insurance and pensions at the European Commission’s directorate general for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union

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