No UK data has been provided to EIOPA for the purpose of its 2019 stress test of European pension funds, IPE has learned.
EIOPA – the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority – has been carrying out the stress tests every two years. The national supervisory authorities are responsible for co-ordinating the exercise in their member states.
According to EIOPA, pension funds had until the middle of June to complete the exercise and submit the results to their national supervisors, who in turn had until the end of August to submit material to EIOPA.
However, according to minutes from the latest meeting of EIOPA’s board of supervisors, there has been “insufficient coverage and shortcomings in the national application” in relation to the 2019 stress test. EIOPA did not respond to a request for clarification from IPE.
According to the minutes, EIOPA is to address the matter in “a formal response”.
A spokesman for the UK’s pensions regulator (TPR) told IPE it had written to pension schemes in May to alert them to the stress test exercise and provide them with details on how to take part.
“However, no UK schemes chose to participate in the stress test and as a result no UK data has been submitted,” the TPR spokesman said.
James Walsh, head of membership engagement and lead on EU issues at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said this made sense given it has been the government’s policy to take the UK out of the EU.
“TPR took a light touch approach previously by doing the UK return itself rather than asking pension schemes to do so, and two years on TPR would have been anticipating we’d have left,” he said.
According to a source, stress test input from at least one other country has been limited.
EIOPA’s founding regulation requires it to perform stress tests of occupational pension funds – IORPs (Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision) – and insurers on a regular basis. The 2019 IORP stress test is supposed to cover 20 countries in the European Economic Area with “material” IORP assets, defined as more than €500m by the end of 2018.
For the first time the IORP stress test this year included a component explicitly to do with environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) risks.
EIOPA has previously said it expected to publish the report on the outcomes of the stress test by the middle of December.