EUROPE – The European Parliament could throw a lifeline to the proposals of the European Federation for Retirement Provision (EFRP) for its tax neutral pan-European occupational pensions framework – the EIORP – by amending it to become a European ‘statute’ for pensions – similar to that used by European companies operating across borders.

Ieke van den Burg – the Dutch socialist MEP and rapporteur for the European parliament on taxation for occupational pensions, says that
amendments to her report, voted on yesterday by the EMAC committee, included an addition to the EIORP concept that was rejected by the Ecofin council at a summit in Luxembourg last month.

She comments: “One of the amendments of the Parliament’s Employment & Social Affairs Committee concerned the situation of frontier and mobile workers.
“ The amendment concerned a link to a European ‘statute’ for pensions.
“This could be an addition to the idea of the EFRP for a pan-European pension fund (EIORP).”

Van den Burg added that the inclusion of the EIORP principle in her report did not have a high level of support from EMAC: “We only won this with one vote. I hope we will win it in the plenary because I think it is an idea that is worthwhile elaborating.”

She adds that she would also like to see the proposed addition.
“The EFRP only wants to have the possibility to operate in different member states from one fund, but you could go further and establish a European statute with European rules for such a fund.”

The Dutch MEP says the statute would mirror existing European company statutes: “This is a method to prevent companies and by rights their pension funds that want to be established in every member state having to operate according to the rules of that member state. There is a sort of supranational legislation, which will cover their activities in the different member states. That might be an idea to build on further.”

The rapporteur says she would also like to see the Commission prepare something more substantial on pensions taxation for the EU Barcelona summit next spring
“I would like to see the start of a co-ordination process and a method of dealing with the EET principle, rather than just an exchange of information. “I hope this report will stimulate the Commission to prepare something and also push the Council to invite the Commission to do this.”