PensionsEurope welcomes the ECB review of its monetary policy strategy which has undergone a process of gradual transformation since it was adopted in 1998. Today the euro area is facing various new economic challenges, such as the COVID-19 crisis, and there will be many new challenges to overcome in the upcoming years which need to be jointly tackled by monetary, economic, and fiscal policies.
As despite negative interest rates and QE programmes the ECB has not achieved its inflation target over the last years, possibly the ECB could be more flexibility around its inflation target and consider targeting price growth in a band, in full respect of the ECB’s price stability mandate as enshrined in the Treaty.
In general, we believe that unconventional monetary policies have had effect in many areas, including various positive and negative side effects. This applies for the economy at large, as well as for pension funds more specifically in the form of preventing a (severe) recession, realising relatively good returns but also substantially more expensive liabilities. You can read our input to the ECB review of its monetary policy strategy here.
PensionsEurope submitted its response to the ESAs' consultation on their joint draft RTS on ESG disclosures. You can find our comments here.
The draft RTS will define the content, methodologies and presentation of disclosures under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The most important elements under discussion in the draft RTS relate to the requirements on disclosures of principal adverse impacts (article 4 SFDR) and product pre-contractual disclosures (articles 8 and 9 SFDR).
PensionsEurope recognises there is a need to increase transparency in the field of sustainability risks and sustainable investment opportunities in order to mobilise capital from the financial services sector and foster the green transition. Notwithstanding this, the lack of flexibility of the new disclosure requirements raises concerns as a “one-size fits all” approach does not always reflect market realities and would not fit the information needs of pension funds’ members and beneficiaries.
PensionsEurope submitted its response to the European Commission consultation on the renewed sustainable finance strategy. You can find our comments here.
In this consultation, the Commission opens the debate on a broad range of relevant questions such as the potential extension of the EU Taxonomy to social objectives and the potential adoption of a Brown Taxonomy, the establishment of a common EU ESG database, as well as other issues related to sustainability ratings, ESG accounting standards, EU green bonds, benchmarks and potential actions to mitigate short termism.
The consultation also includes a section on the specific case of IORPs. In view of the review of the IORP II Directive planned in 2023, the consultation paves the way for the introduction of new mechanisms to further improve the integration of members’ and beneficiaries’ ESG preferences in the investment strategies and the management and governance of IORPs as well as other considerations to improve ESG integration and reporting beyond what is currently required by the regulatory framework.