EIOPA to increase pensions focus this year – Fausto Parente

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) will increase its focus on pensions this year, according to its executive director, Fausto Parente.

Speaking at the PensionsEurope conference yesterday, 10 June, on EIOPA’s action plan for 2021, Parente said: “Last year we focused a lot on the insurance side, in terms of developing the advice for solvency II, as you know; this year will be more on the pension area.

“You know that we have received this call for advice for putting in place a pensions tracking system and a pensions dashboard. These are for us the two key priorities for this year because we need to answer, and we want to answer to the European Commission’s request. It’s a key theme for us because we really want to contribute to close the pension gap,” he said, adding that, currently, 20 per cent of European citizens are at risk of poverty in retirement.

“We need to do something to increase awareness to save more for retirement age, and this is an area where we want to contribute.”

In addition, he said that EIOPA expects the European Commission to ask for its advice on IORPs at the beginning of next year, as it begins a review of the IORP II Directive. On the subject of cross-border pension schemes, he said the market has not really answered EIOPA’s hope to develop further cross-border IORPs.

“We were hoping to have increased cross-border schemes after the IORP II Directive was implemented.” However, he noted that some countries have only just transposed the directive.

In addition, he also spoke of the incoming new chair of EIOPA, Petra Hielkema, in which he said she will bring a perspective that EIOPA needs in the area of pensions. He commented on PensionsEurope’s recent comments about EIOPA, in which it said it lacks expertise in pension on its board of supervisors.

“I read your contribution to the annual review, I know what you think about EIOPA’s expertise in your field. But I am really positive about the choice [of Petra Hielkema as chair],” he said.

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