EU/UK - The EU Parliament has been urged to ratify a new directive which would enable large companies to run pan-European pension schemes.
A change could render a severe knock to the UK’s already ailing pension system.
The European parliament is being pushed to block a German amendment to a pensions directive that will restrict schemes’ equity investments.
Germany wants the EU directive Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision to replicate German rules that impose a 30% limit on the amount of equities a scheme can hold. In an unprecedented move, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) have written to the UK’s 87 MEPs, pressing for a positive vote on the directive. The letter reads: “The Directive [sic] represents a hard-won compromise between differing viewpoints but there is now a danger that amendments may be proposed which could upset the delicate balance that has been achieved.
“If any changes are introduced at Second Reading to make the Directive more prescriptive and restrictive, UK interests are likely to be better served without it.
“It is therefore vitally important that the current text of this Directive passes unchanged. An amended Directive could harm UK pension schemes at a time when many of them are already under threat.” UK MEPs are urged to vote for the directive as it stands.
The Directive is due to be discussed by the European and Monetary Affairs Committee of the EU Parliament today.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.