In the membership note 2022/17, we provide a brief summary of the call for technical advice to EIOPA regarding the IORP II's evaluation and review.
The call for technical advice is available in Annex 1.
The accompanying letter is available in Annex 2.
In the membership note 2022/16, we provide a brief summary of the WPA paper 2022 on Sustainable Finance.
The WPA paper 2022 on Sustainable Finance is available in Annex 1.
In the membership note 2022/15, we summarised our latest work and actions on the topical issues, we have been focusing on.
The note covers:
- Pension schemes arrangements’ clearing
- Evaluation and implementation of the IORP II Directive
- Review of the IORP II Directive
- EIOPA IORP Stress Test
- EIOPA reporting requirements
- Digital operational resilience
- Withholding tax
- EIOPA technical advices on pension dashboard and tracking systems
- ESG ratings
- Pan-European Pension Product (PEPP)
- Corporate sustainability due diligence directive
- EU Sustainable Reporting Standards
- ISSB exposure draft of climate related disclosures
- ESA’s review
- Russian invasion of Ukraine
In its input to the EC consultation on withholding taxes and the new EU system to avoid double taxation, PensionsEurope e.g.:
- strongly agrees with the EC that there is a need for EU action to make WHT refund/relief procedures more efficient. The high added value of an action at EU level would be that there would be an EU wide harmonized framework in place and no more fragmented WHT systems across the EU;
- reminds that we have stressed for a long time that the relief at source is the best practice for pension funds, but there are also many other recent WHT proposals which the EC should thoroughly consider;
- reminds that in many countries pension institutions invest cross border via specialised investments funds and/or vehicles to increase the economies of scale, and it is important to ensure a tax-neutral treatment of these investment structures as well;
- stresses that establishing a cross-border investment-friendly tax environment in the EU not only requires removing unfair tax treatment but also introducing tax incentives.
In its input to European Commission’s consultation on ESG ratings, PensionsEurope e.g.:
- welcomes the consultation, shares many of the Commission’s concerns, and welcomes the Commission’s further work to improve the ratings and the functioning of the market;
- stresses that the current main challenges for pension funds are related to ESG data, as there is clearly a lack of reliable and accurate ESG data, which pension funds need to report under the SFDR;
- proposes to adopt a holistic and coordinated regulatory approach to both financial and non-financial (ESG) data in the EU, as well as establishing a proper regulatory framework for data providers: ensuring coherence in the EU legislation on data providers’ services on financial data, facilitating direct access to data, and implementing new transparency and accountability requirements for data providers’ activities.
On 23 May, PensionsEurope sent a comment to the European Commission for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive. In our feedback, we supported the objectives of the OECD Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct and the creation of equal guidelines and frameworks across the EU through legislation to ensure that companies are commited to protecting human rights and the environment. We believe that the European Commission's proposal could indeed create a level playing field in the EU but still requires greater clarifications on several aspects detailed in our comment.
On 6 April 2022, PensionsEurope commented on the European Commission Proposal for a Council Directive laying down rules to prevent the misuse of shell entities for tax purposes and amending Directive 2011/16/EU. In our feedback, we supported the aim of preventing the use of legal entities and arrangements without minimal substance for tax avoidance or tax evasion purposes, and suggested certain adjustments to the European Commission’s proposal that we consider necessary to ensure that pension funds and the investment structures they use do not incorrectly fall within the scope and be impacted unintendedly.
In its input to the European Commission, PensionsEurope welcomes the review of the central clearing framework in the EU.
For the challenges related to Pension Scheme Arrangements’ (PSAs) upcoming clearing obligation, the best way forward is a structural solution, involving central bank liquidity, as central clearing houses in Europe would suffice to provide (indirect) central bank liquidity utilizing their cleared repo platform. Therefore, PensionsEurope proposes to the Commission that the solution would be that the European central clearing houses could provide central bank liquidity to PSAs in times of stress to convert high quality government bonds into cash.
PensionsEurope agrees with the recent ESMA advice to the Commission that an extension of PSAs’ exemption from clearing obligation until 19 June 2023 is still needed.
PensionsEurope condemns in the most severe terms the unlawful aggression of Russia against Ukraine and the people of Ukraine. It is imperative that the economic sanctions against Russia are effectively implemented. Many pension funds have already decided to divest from Russia. We call upon our members and all pension funds in Europe to contribute to their best that economic sanctions of the European Union against Russia are effectively implemented, and pension fund investments will not enable Russia to continue its invasion of Ukraine.