EFRP changed its name to PensionsEurope. Joanne SEGARS, the new President, examined the problems affecting the private pensions systems in Europe

20 November 2012 — Daniela GHETU
joanne_segarsThe EFRP today launched its new name at the 7th European Pension Funds Congress (EPFC) in Frankfurt. Ms Joanne SEGARS, EFRP Chair, presented the new name and logo during her opening speech, stating that the new name will make it much easier to understand what the Federation represents.

"The organization's mission remains that of ensuring that the Federation's voice continues to be heard and of playing a leading role in promoting secure, adequate and sustainable workplace pensions across Europe. The EFRP will continue to speak for all forms of workplace pensions in Europe, whether defined benefit, defined contribution or hybrid."

"The next few years will be critical for the future direction of pensions in Europe and to the retirement prospects of Europe's citizens. Challenges will arise from proposals on pensions portability, the role of pension funds as long-term investors in a continuing tough economic environment and, of course, the review of the IORP Directive", Joanne SEGARS added.

Joanne SEGARS is Chief Executive Officer of NAPF - the United Kingdom Pensions Association, and she was recently elected President of PensionsEurope.

Joanne SEGARS also talked about the European context of private pensions, underlining various aspects:
  • European Governments' struggle to respond to the budgetary shortage led in many cases to actions which affected the evolution and the access to retirement saving plans: the pullback of fiscal incentives (in UK, Ireland, Netherlands etc.), the increase of the retirement age (in Spain, Netherlands and many other states), the limitation and even abolition of early retirement options (in Belgium) or the nationalization of pension funds in Hungary;
  • Both in public and private pension systems, more responsibility and more risks are transferred to the participants;
  • The adoption of the IORP Directive in the current form of the project could significantly affect on long term the DB pension schemes, these not being adapted to the pension funds' need to invest and optimize their long term financial results;
Given this context, PensionsEurope has many problems to solve and the institution has already started to configure its own internal activity structure (the establishment of two new technical committees), thus being able to cover more efficiently the current problems through the factor that separates them: the pension scheme type - DB (Defined Benefit Plan) or DC (Defined Contribution Plan).

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