EUROPE – The European Commission’s proposed directive on pensions portability could “reduce” occupational pension schemes, according to a financial services forum at the European Parliament.

The plan was put forward by the Commission in October last year and has already faced some opposition from the likes of the European Federation for Retirement Provision and member states.

“In modern European labour markets where life-long job tenure is becoming very rare workers should not be penalised for changing jobs,” the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum says in a briefing note.

“However, it is not clear that the directive will significantly improve labour mobility across the EU, which not only depends on the future treatment of existing pension plans.

“As currently drafted the directive could significantly add to the cost of employers providing occupational schemes, which are generally provided on a voluntary basis, and could at worst result in a reduction of schemes offered.

“This would obviously go against all the current attempts to improve retirement funding.” The comments come ahead of a closed-door meeting on pensions at the forum next week.

Last week IPE reported that the parliament’s “rapporteur” on the directive, Irish MEP Eoin Ryan, had termed the proposal “very problematic” due to issues about tax and supervision.