The National Association of Pensions Funds has warned of potential “mission creep” in European regulation as Eiopa seeks to extend its remit to include personal pensions.
European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority chairman Gabriel Bernardino told delegates at a seminar in Frankfurt this month there is a good case for EU-wide regulation of personal pensions.
Bernardino said: “I believe there are merits in developing an EU-wide framework for the activities and supervision of individual retirement savings, containing both prudential and consumer protection measures.
“Improving consumer information and protection is necessary to enhance citizens’ confidence in financial products for retirement savings.”
Speaking at the Money Marketing Retirement Planning Summit in Cork last week, NAPF EU and International policy lead James Walsh said: “Gabriel Bernardino clearly wants to see Eiopa’s remit formally extended from workplace pensions to personal pensions. You can see how Eiopa is engaging in pretty active mission creep.
“Eiopa is providing advice to the EU Commission on how to take this forward. We can expect to see a proposal through a draft directive or something of that nature in the coming year or two.”
Walsh said proposals to create a single market for personal pensions across Europe could create “complications” for group personal pension schemes.
He said: “The tricky area for providers of workplace schemes is what this means for group personal pensions. Regulation is already quite complex with the FCA and The Pensions Regulator involved and this could complicate the picture further.”
Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid says: “It is difficult enough aligning TPR and FCA regulations on GPPs. Throwing a European regulator into the mix will only make things more complicated.”