EUROPE - A European Court of Justice ruling will set back the timetable for cross-border pension schemes by five years, PricewaterhouseCoopers claims.
The consultant believes the ruling which allowed a Finnish citizen, Danner, to gain tax relief on pensions contributions paid into a German policy, will hinder the uniformity of regulation.
PwC partner Trevor Llanwarne said: “Contrary to appearances, we believe the Danner judgement will not assist European mobile workers and may set back the prospects of a single European market for pension products.
“It leaves the option open for individual EU states to assess an overseas pension plan against their own criteria for tax relief, and to refuse to acknowledge them because the plan does not fit the bill for tax exemption.”
He added that this contrasts with the EU’s success in securing mutual recognition or harmonisation in the case of other savings products, including mutual funds and life products.
PwC’s opinion is are not shared by lawyers who believe that last month’s ruling has moved tax harmonisation one step closer.
Denton Wilde Sapte solicitor Martin McFall said the ruling not only highlighted the ECJ’s willingness to promote pan European pensions, but it made it clear that a member state which did not recognise a foreign pension fund was breaching the terms of the EU treaty.
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