CEE region

There have been significant changes to occupational pension policy in some Member States of the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) region currently. In this part of the Europe mandatory funded pension pillars have been established prior to the EU enlargement. The Member States were inspired for their pension reform by the World Bank model. In 2005 PensionsEurope established a CEEC Forum to promote the dialogue with the private pension industry in the CEE and the regular members of PensionsEurope in order to raise the concerns of the private pension sector in Brussels.

Presently, we see worrying developments in some of those Member States. The Polish government has been stripping privately run pension funds of their holding of government bonds, Hungary has scrapped the 2nd pillar entirely and Romania and the Czech Republic are planning to revise their systems in such a way that it might be harmful for the pension funds. The EU pension policy from the Lisbon strategy until the White Paper on Pensions has for more than a decade recognised the importance of funded occupational pensions in providing adequate and sustainable pensions. Because of, among others, short-term fiscal objectives and the current economic environment, some Member States are jeopardising existing multi-pillar pension systems in order to improve public finances. We are of the opinion that citizens might lose trust in occupational pension schemes when money is taken out of the pension fund or if the pension fund is even dismissed entirely. Moreover, pension reforms could spill-over to other Member States of Eastern and Central Europe with similar systems. Therefore, we try to raise awareness with the European institutions and we try to support the pension funds in the respective countries where we can.