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IORP Directive must not 'unpick' pension systems, rapporteur warns

March 27, 2015

The European lawmaker appointed as rapporteur for the IORP Directive has warned that the law must not damage existing pension systems and insisted he would take time to engage with stakeholders as he drafted his report on the legislation.

Brian Hayes, an Irish MEP and member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee (ECON), said it was vital that the European Parliament took its time while drafting an opinion on the IORP Directive, the basis of the chamber’s negotiating position ahead of talks with member states and the European Commission next year.

Speaking at the Brussels launch event for the TTYPE project’s report into a European pension tracking service (ETS), he said it was important the revised Directive not “unpick” systems that had been successful.

“We are not going to rush this – this is going to be a piece of legislation we are going to take our time with because it’s crucially important we get this right,” he said. 

He also distanced himself from the notion there should be a single rule book across the common market, insisting he did not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

“Ultimately, in my view, [IORP II] cannot be so prescriptive as to cut across the success that many countries have in this area,” he said.

Instead, successful pension systems should be seen as “gold-plated benchmarks” to which other pension systems should aspire.

Hayes also praised the Italian government for achieving consensus between member states for an IORP negotiating mandate that emphasised the relaxation of prudential regulation for cross-border pension funds, after the Commission seemingly dropped such changes from its final draft in March last year.

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