SPAIN – The Spanish parliament has passed an amendment of the law regulating pension funds, the Reglamento de Planes y Fondos de Pensiones, to bring it into line with the European Union’s pension directive.

The law, passed this week, tackles problems such as the different regulations on pension schemes that have made so far distinctions between self-employed workers and employees.

And some of the rules on representation in the Comisiones de Control, a body existing in every company with a pension scheme, have been altered.

According the law, financial and actuarial system in pension schemes, should be reviewed every three years with the aid of an independent actuary.

The financial aspects of the new law include the establishment of a benchmark reflecting the fund’s investment policy and analysis of possible deviations from the set benchmark.

The new regulation also envisages a policy of management and asset allocation based on profitability and risk.

Self employed workers, who employ workers, are now allowed to promote pension schemes, which they can also join.

No minimum number of members will be required anymore to set up new pension schemes.

“When a pension plan is devised for a small company, the promoter will proceed to the formalisation of the plan with the fund, provided that the workers agree with it. In this case the promoting committee can set up a control committee,” explained Aon Consulting in a summary of the new law.

The comision de control is to remain in office for a period of maximum 12 months and is required to have at least five members.

The new regulations require no longer an equal share of representation of employers and employees in the comision.

“Before the new law, 50% of the member of the comision represented the workers, and 50% the employers. Now, it is not necessarily going to be so so, it could be 40-60% ratio, for instance”, a spokesman for Aon explained.

The spokesman also said the new rule was likely to please the trade unions.