European Commission calls for the public and private pensions providers' opinion on a potential EU personal pension framework

20 October 2016 — Daniela GHETU
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on personal pensions. The consultation will enable the Commission to assess what can be done at EU level to support a wider choice of personal pensions competing across borders. As key players in capital markets, increasing investment in personal pensions is one of the priorities of the Capital Markets Union. They offer the potential to inject more savings into capital markets and channel additional financing to productive investments.

The consultation invites individuals to provide information on their experience using personal pension schemes and whether they are interested in using these schemes to save for their retirement.

The consultation will also seek the views of professionals working in the pensions industry and their interest in offering simple, affordable and transparent personal pension products which work towards providing better returns.

The EU's changing demographics means that the proportion of workers supporting those in retirement will be halved by 2060. As a result, European pension systems will face the dual challenge of remaining financially sustainable and being able to provide an adequate income to pensioners.

The European Commission aims at encouraging more savings into personal pensions to secure adequate revenues for retirement. This is essential as people are living longer, public finances are expected to remain under pressure and the ratio of retired people to workers is set to double in the next thirty five years.

As part of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) action plan, the Commission will assess the case for a policy framework to establish European personal pensions. More investment into personal pensions contributes to a stronger single market for capital through an increase in the funds available to finance the economy.

The objective of the public consultation is to identify potential obstacles to the uptake of personal pension products and to seek views on how to best address them. The consultation will also help the Commission analyse the case for an EU personal pension framework. To that end, individuals (citizens, pensioners, students) and other stakeholders (companies, representative associations, governments) are asked their opinion on possible EU action in order to offer personal pensions to individuals which are simple, affordable, transparent and provide better returns.

The public consultation builds on previous work carried out by the Commission and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on personal pensions.

The public consultation will run until 31st October 2016. All details are available here.

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