Pension forum kicks off

The first meeting of the European Pensions Forum, initiated at the suggestion of last May’s communication from the European Commission, is to take place on January 13 in Brussels.
The forum, whose remit will be to examine issues on statutory state pensions will be made up of EC and government officials, social partners and lobby groups and to meet biannually.
Dimitri Kontizas, the EC lawyer co-ordinating the forum, says it will act as an internal committee for the commission.
He adds: “In the past we had twice-yearly meetings on the issue of statutory social security pension schemes. On the recommendations of the Weil Committee, it was decided to create this forum of representatives from each member state, pension funds and social partners.
He explains the reason for its creation as a desire by the commission to match representation of these groups on supplementary pension issues with more input on statutory pensions questions.
“When we brought in the directives on free movement and the safeguarding of supplementary pension rights for workers we had individual meetings with all the interested parties.
“Those were separate discussions, but now we are bringing the process together. We shall see if it works.”
Kontizas says each member state will have two seats. Social partners at the European level will have between 14-16 places, and the European Federation for Retirement Provision will have three seats with other lobby groups making up the remainder of the committee, although exact numbers have yet to be decided.

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