EUROPE - There should be one EU legal framework with national varieties instead of various European countries rivalling for the best location to domicile pan-European pension funds, suggests Bruno Gabellieri, secretary general of the European Association of Paritarian Institutions of Social Protection (AEIP).

Gabellieri - who is one of the 10 nominees for this year's Outstanding IndustryContribution award at the IPE European Pension Fund Awards in Vienna tomorrow (Nov 15) - said, in an interview with IPE, he envisages a European umbrella organisation which includes a tax-exempt legal vehicle for pan-European pension provision.

A body with subsidiaries on a national level would ensure the development of pension contracts, the marketing and the implementation of the pan-European pension vehicles in companies and the professional sectors, according to the AEIP's suggestion.

"My idea is not to have competition but a sort of gentlemen's agreement between the different subsidiary societies with consolidation at the European level," Gabellieri commented.

This model would also accommodate various types of pension industry participants as the vehicles could be offered by banks, social insurances or mutual funds, he said.

However, for the time being, the AEIP strongly supports territorial pension fund arrangements similar to Pensplan for the Italian Trentino region.

Such initiatives would help strengthen the pension fund industry in Southern Europe where this industry sector is less-developed than in the north of the European Union, Gabellieri pointed out.

Furthermore, the AEIP will promote pan-European pension arrangements for the construction sector in Eastern Europe from next year.

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