Climate change is the 'most immediate challenge' after Covid - EIOPA

Aside from Covid-19, climate change is the single greatest global economic challenge today, according to European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIPOA) chair, Petra Hielkema.

In her opening address to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, a committee of the European Parliament responsible for the regulation of financial services, Hielkema, who took up the post last month, stressed the important role pension funds and insurers have to play in the sustainable transition.

“EIOPA will motivate and facilitate this role where possible,” she said.

“Looking ahead, EIOPA will continue its work to ensure that reinsurers and occupational pension funds integrate sustainability risks in their risk management, including integrating taxonomy regulation requirements,” she added.

Hielkema also highlighted a ‘pensions gap,’ stressing consumers are not saving enough for retirement.

EIOPA utilises tracking systems and dashboards to identify where certain gaps lie, she says.

“Once gaps are identified, they also need to be dealt with and so we have to be able to ensure the adequacy and sustainability of pension systems and the availability of good products,” she said.

“We have recently addressed the supervision of long-term risk assessment, and costs and charges by IORPs. Furthermore, the first Pan-European Personal Pension Products (PEPPs) will enter the market next year and provide consumers with new possibilities for long-term saving.”

PEPPs aim to be cost-efficient, tailored to consumer needs, and accessible union-wide.

The product intends to ensure EU-wide retirement savings from 2022 onwards.

In June, EIPOA launched a consultation on the methodological framework for stress-testing IORPs.

At the time, the body said that given the line between DB and DC IORPS was blurred, a toolbox of agreed common methodological principles and guidelines would aid the stress testing for the directives.

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