Steve Webb builds Euro coalition to oppose Solvency II for pensions


Pensions minister Steve Webb is attempting to build a coalition of European countries to oppose plans to impose Solvency II-style funding requirements on defined-benefit pension schemes.

A European Commission green paper, published in July last year, aimed to launch a public debate on how to ensure “adequate, sustainable and safe” pensions across the EU.

The proposals in the paper include an increase in capital requirements and possible pan-European regulation of pension funds.

The Confederation of British Industry has previously branded the plans a “terrible idea” and warned they could lead to an £800bn equity sell-off as pension funds look to buy less risky assets.

Speaking at the NAPF trustee conference in London yesterday, Webb (pictured) said: “We are all in favour of solvent pension funds but trying to impose a standard design for insurance on DB pensions does not fit and would be extremely damaging for the UK.

“We have a small number of European allies on this, so we will be working with other European countries to try to build a coalition to stop the imposition of Solvency II on pension funds.”