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Working groups likely to pass Spanish compromise

EUROPE- The various EU member state pensions working groups convene next week for the last meeting before the occupational pensions directive heads for the Council at the beginning of June.

A revised text is being drawn up early next week for next Friday’s meeting and barring any radical changes, the Council will be presented with what is being touted as a compromise solution.

The proposed directive has been delayed recently due to a squabble over investment restrictions

Countries like France and Italy have been pushing for quantitative investment restrictions, something anathema to the Netherlands and the UK who have pressed for the prudent man principle.

The latest papers from the Spanish presidency suggest a compromise. Funds operating across borders can invest no more than 30% of their assets in securities listed on unregulated markets.

Funds are also prohibited from investing more than 5% of their assets into a single share or bond and nor can they put more than 5% in shares of their own company.

Rhos Roberts, European representative of the UK’s National Association of Pension Funds said it was disappointing there had not been more progress towards harmonisation across the EU.

In mitigation though, she said that many funds would be less concerned with pan European pensions, and more about an increased regulatory burden.

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