GLOBAL - An OECD working paper on pension fund performance could act as a catalyst for regulators across the globe to develop international standards for the reporting of investment returns to allow comparisons between different jurisdictions.
However, reporting differences in various countries made it difficult to compare systems.
He said: "What we have done is collect all the data and find out the problems with that data, and then conduct a few studies using standard measures that are out there today.
"What that has allowed so far is to tell us within the countries whether pension funds have done better than certain benchmarks.
"But it doesn't allow us to make a cross country comparison yet because for that we have to develop very specific benchmarks, which is the really difficult thing."
In his interim report, Antolin said the study's initial observations could act as a starting point for an effort to develop international standards for reporting.
He said: "We are not saying the data reported today is wrong, what we are saying is if you do want to have a comparative analysis across countries, taking into account countries' different pension designs and regulatory frameworks, the way the data is provided is not ideal."
Con Keating, analyst at pension fund insurance vehicle Brighton Rock, said while regulators were unlikely to move to introduce international standards that would highlight the impacts of regulation of pension fund performance, it would be possible for an industry body to introduce voluntary standards.
"I don't believe it has to be an international regulatory standard," he said. "There is room for entities such as the European Federation of Financial Analysts' Societies to produce common standards for performance reporting."
Jerry Moriarty, director of policy, Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF), said while the idea of comparing pension funds performance made sense, it would not be an easy task.
He said: "It is very difficult to compare things that operate very differently in different countries.
"It's difficult to see how you could have a common reporting mechanism that would take those differences into account."
The final OECD report is expected to be released before the summer next year.
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