EUROPE - Peter Skinner, European Parliament rapporteur for Solvency II, has suggested the public sector should begin to rely more on private pensions.

Skinner - one of the 12 nominees for this year's Outstanding Industry Contribution award at the IPE European Pension Fund Awards hosted in Barcelona last night - stressed such greater reliance would only be possible if private pensions are better secured by good regulation.

"We need a principle risk-based approach to meet the needs of the pension funds," he told IPE.

According to Skinner, the EU directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) provides a good legislative plan for private pensions, adding the countries who not yet subscribe to the directive should make haste with its implementation.

Skinner also expressed his contentment with the European Parliament's decision to reject the application of Solvency II rules to pension funds.

"We have to avoid falling into the same Solvency II category as insurance companies," he commented, adding while there are some similarities in the type of pensions delivered between countries and between what is considered to be the traditional pensions market and insurance-led plans, the two systems must be recognised as different and should be treated as so for solvency-related regulatory purposes.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Carolyn Bandel on + 44 (0)20 7261 4622 or email