5. Good practices: portability, communication

 

aba responds to EIOPA consultation on communication with members and beneficiaries

Towards the end of 2015 EIOPA published the consultation paper Good Practices on Communication Tools and Channels for communicating to occupational pension scheme members. EIOPA sets out to give a detailed overview over the current communication requirements in the individual Member States – looking at the communication with new members, members in the accumulation phase, just before retirement and during retirement as well as with members with vested entitlements who are no longer active members. Compared to the requirements described, the German requirements as laid down in the Act on the Supervision of Insurance Undertakings (VAG; the linked English version is from 2007, the current version is to our knowledge only available in German) appear to be mid-range. Following this descriptive section, EIOPA establishes seven Good Practices: five of them relate to electronic communication, in addition, EIOPA advocates the coherent design of communication strategies and evaluation. The paper mainly looks at occupational pensions which are organised through IORPs and life insurers, but (“where relevant”) employers are included as well.

The aba emphasises in the response, that EIOPA’s remit is limited to IORPs and insurance companies. As stipulated in the EIOPA Regulation, the scope of EIOPA’s work is defined by the relevant Directives, which in this case are the IORP Directive and the Solvency II Directive for insurers. EIOPA should therefore avoid extending its Good Practices to employers.

While without question electronic communication is the future, many IORPs and life insurers in Germany currently still use paper mail to provide their members and beneficiaries with information. The aba therefore cautions against a hurried switch to electronic communication. Experience of aba members shows that not only the ability to use online tools, but also the willingness to do so varies significantly among members and beneficiaries.

 


aba response: EIOPA consultation regarding individual transfers

The aba has submitted its response to the EIOPA consultation on the Report on Good Practices on individual transfers of supplementary occupational pension rights (Closing date: 10 April 2015). As suggested by EIOPA, the aba discusses the individual pages of the consultation paper, and in addition sets out their position in an extended general part. The aba emphasises that the main obstacles for individual cross-border transfers can be found in the area of tax and social contribution law – areas for which EIOPA – as the European supervisory authority – has no competencies. From the perspective of the aba, a mutual (tax) recognition of the different occupational pension systems at least for the time when a worked is posted to another Member State should facilitate cross-border mobility in the EU. EIOPA, however, should focus on the issues which realistically can be addressed by supervisory law.

The aba has also contributed to the response by PensionsEurope.


 

EIOPA consultation on the individual transfer of occupational pension rights

In January 2015, EIOPA published the consultation paper Report on Good Practices on individual transfers of supplementary occupational pension rights, which relates back to the Call for Advice (CfA) on portability EIOPA received from the DG Employment and Social Affairs. The consultation paper summarises the results of the EIOPA work regarding the Call for Advice and is intended to form the basis for the future discussions around transferability of occupational pensions.

The consultation paper does not contain direct questions, but asks the interested experts to comment on the Good Practice suggestions by EIOPA. The paper i.a. addresses the requirements for the transferring and receiving schemes, information disclosure and advice as well as costs and charges and the calculation of the transfer value. The annexes of the consultation paper contain an overview over transfers in the EU, a summary of the political discussions around portability at the EU level and a literature review on the transfer of supplementary pension rights.

The deadline for response is 10 April 2015.


 

Commission: Call for Advice regarding transferability  

On 11 June 2014 the European Commission has issued a Call for Advice to EIOPA. It addresses minimum requirements concerning the transferability of supplementary pension rights, a topic which has not been addressed in the Directive on minimum requirements for enhancing worker mobility by improving the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights from April 2014.

The Commission asks for an overview of the existing arrangements
for transfers of acquired supplementary pension rights between occupational pension schemes in different Member States, both within the country as well as well for cross border transfers. In addition, EIOPA is asked to flag good practice examples as well as collect quantitative data on transfers. The deadline for EIOPA’s response is mid-2015.


 

 

     

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