EUROPE - Widespread implementation of pan-European pension schemes (PEPs) is up to ten years away, and current plans are unsuitable for the majority of companies to use, industry experts claim.
Price said: "They are coming, there's no doubt. [But] clients want some sort bundled packed - like flipping on a light switch."
He added research carried out by Mercer found there to be six providers with PEP products on the market, half of which were using the Belgian OFP framework (for more details on Belgian PEPs, see www.globalpensions.com), but the existing arrangements were not suitable for all schemes.
Johan van Egmond, regional sales director, AEGON Global Pensions, added the process of setting up a PEP was "not as straight forward or easy as it was made out to be" with barriers to entry including complex and costly legal undertakings.
He said: "You need to get UCITS agreements from each country - for us, it has been a huge project. A fully fledged PEP product is not really possible yet, but asset pooling is.
"[Although] we've seen some vehicles, the point is these vehicles are not ready, or not feasible for all."
Price agreed: "We have seen a few schemes working on a two or three countries, but not a true pan-European basis. I just don't think that's possible at the moment."
A poll of delegates revealed strong demand for a redraft of the institutions for occupational retirement provision IORPs directive, with 63% of calling for action to create an 'IORP 2', although Price said this was unlikely to happen.
He did however say the European Commission was considering reviewing certain clauses in the directive, which would address certain concerns.
The indicative poll also showed governance to be the most important consideration in driving the take up of PEPs, followed by risk management and cost reduction.
The Howden Group Pension Plan has completed a full pensioner buy-in with Legal & General (L&G), insuring benefits for around 2,000 members.
Professional Pensions is looking to update its list of pensions master trusts in the UK ahead of authorisation. Can you help?
Concern about the potential impact on employer covenants has been rated the top risk for defined benefit (DB) schemes, according to a PTL survey.
Jonathan Stapleton says the DWP's progress on CDC is a welcome, and cautious, step forward.