PensionsEurope welcomes the endorsement earlier this week in the European Parliament’s Economic & Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee of the PEPP Regulation negotiated with the EU Council. This follows the EU Council’s own approval that took place earlier in February.
PensionsEurope commends the work of the EU Council negotiators and MEP Sophie in’ t Veld, who have reached a balanced and meaningful consensus.
PEPP is a significant contribution to diversifying and strengthening Europe’s pension systems. It will be particularly important for those who do not have access to workplace pensions, as self-employed and workers in new forms of employment, or where personal pensions offered are not reliable or attractive.
PensionsEurope looks forward to the final approval of the PEPP Regulation by the Parliament’s plenary session, so that this product can help address Europe’s pension gap.
Matti Leppälä, Secretary General/CEO of PensionsEurope, said: ‘With PEPP the EU is delivering on Commission President Juncker’s promise to support citizens in retirement whilst increasing long-term funding of the EU economy. If technical measures complementing the PEPP Regulation are appropriately designed and allow all PEPP providers to build on the strengths of their business models, PEPP will bolster pension savings and long-term investment across the EU.’
Today on 13 February 2019, PensionsEurope published a brochure on cross-border pension funds that has been prepared by PensionsEurope Standing Committee DC. It explores (i) what is a cross-border occupational pension fund, (ii) how does a cross-border occupational pension fund practically work, (iii) what are the main pros and cons of a cross-border occupational pension fund, and (iv) a case study how a company would implement a cross-border occupational pension fund for its employees.
PensionsEurope brochure concludes that a cross-border DC occupational pension fund can be an efficient and innovative solution for multinational corporations with different local pension schemes in the EU. It can be an opportunity to improve overall cost efficiency and to better monitor the different pension schemes with more centralized management and oversight. In addition, it could also help multinational corporations to allow easier mobility of their employees. However, companies putting in place cross-border schemes have to be well prepared and/or supported to handle the implementation process which can be complex and lengthy.
Today on 11 February 2019, PensionsEurope published its annual statistics and Report on Pension Funds Statistics and Trends 2018, and you can find them here.
The tightening monetary policy attracts more investments in bonds, and this applies for pension funds as well. However, many pension funds have indicated that they do not expect significant changes to their investments in sovereign bonds, and in some countries these investments are even expected to continue to decline in spite of the increasing interest rates.
Pension funds have increasingly moved their assets to equities or (from equities) to alternatives or they have invested more in both equities and alternatives. In some other countries, there has been an increasing interest in illiquid assets (such as private debt, private equity, and real estate). Pension funds do not aim to make significant changes to the share of their investments in public equities in the upcoming years.
Pension funds’ stabilizing and countercyclical investment behavior is expected to continue. The main risks to this behavior are the growing popularity of low-cost passive investments (although the rebalancing/countercyclical behaviour could very well be continued) and the gradual shift towards DC/hybrid schemes instead of DB schemes (although many DC schemes pursue a lifecycle approach implying a countercyclical rebalancing strategy). Furthermore, legislative capital requirements or accounting rules may drive pension funds away from equities (including long-term sustainable investments) in favour of other investments (including sovereign bonds).