The World Pension Alliance (WPA) published the paper on ‘2020 Global Regulatory Responses and Pension Fund Challenges Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic’, providing an overview of the challenges that both pension funds and pension plan members faced during 2020 and promoting the adoption of policies with a long-term view toward retirement security. The research underlines the damaging effects of specific policies such as pension withdrawals, without overlooking the current difficult situation of many workers all over the globe. With that in mind, the paper summarizes the challenges and global regulatory efforts in response to COVID-19 made in 2020 in different regions around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a brief analysis on sector developments since the beginning of the pandemic.
Even more so during the current pandemic crisis, pension funds serve a significant social function in supporting economies and citizens. They ensure benefits for old age income while they work as automatic stabilizers in times of economic strain. Because employers’ and employees’ representatives are involved in the management of workplace pension schemes, such schemes help to promote transparency, inclusiveness, and democratic legitimacy. Most notably, pension funds are important institutional investors and can foster long-term investment and sustainable economic growth while maintaining financial stability. They often act countercyclically by maintaining their long-term strategic asset allocation in stressed market conditions, in that they rebalance and buy assets whose prices have diminished abruptly.
PensionsEurope is delighted to organise its 2021 annual conference "Adequate and Sustainable Pensions" online on 9 & 10 June 2021, 10:00 - 13:45 with its event and media partner IPE.
The PensionsEurope annual conference brings together leading experts in pensions, as well as pension professionals and EU officials to exchange views and best practices on the most relevant and topical issues in the pensions landscape. We will focus on the main trends concerning workplace pension provision in EU Pension Policy, Sustainable Finance, the low interest rate environment and communication in pensions. All of this will be discussed against the background of Covid-19 and the aftermath of this ongoing crisis.
Save the date in your agenda and keep an eye on our website here for more information!
On 12 March 2021, PensionsEurope answered to the European Commission targeted consultation on the establishment of a European Single Access Point (ESAP).
PensionsEurope welcomes the initiative of establishing an ESAP, a platform that should primarily be meant to provide useful information for investors, in particular to comply with the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the Taxonomy Regulation and the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). PensionsEurope recommends the European Commission to adopt a phased in approach for the ESAP, firstly focusing on ESG data. An ESAP focusing on ESG is in line with the joint industry letter calling for the creation of a European ESG database. Robust, comparable and reliable ESG data is necessary for identifying and assessing sustainability risks and key for enabling pension funds to steer their portfolios towards sustainability objectives. Pension funds increasingly want to incorporate sustainability considerations in investments but at times face data constrains, as data is not always available or is only available at a significant cost. The ESAP initiative could address this challenge, in combination with an ambitious review of the NFRD. Once the ESAP is up and running, it could be extended to other areas.
In our answer, you can read more about our specific considerations on the objectives/characteristics of the ESAP, on the challenges faced when searching and using data, on the scope of ESAP, on its usability and accessibility, governance, costs and benefits.