Financial services & capital markets > Insurance & pensions
The European Commission has today adopted a package of measures to channel funds to the real economy, in particular to long-term investment. The package includes a communication on the long-term financing of the economy, a legislative proposal for new rules for occupational pension funds and a communication on crowdfunding.
“Many Europeans who worked hard all their life end up with too low pension benefits to ensure a decent quality of life. If nothing is done, we all know that this situation is likely to deteriorate, particularly as a result of demographic changes. [...] Pension schemes [...] all over Europe, will have to adapt in order to meet these challenges”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Commission conference on pensions.
The European Parliament adopted in plenary today the “Omnibus II” Directive that completes the “Solvency II” Directive and finalises the new framework for insurance regulation and supervision in the EU. "This long-awaited and vital reform is on the brink of becoming reality" said Commissioner Barnier.
“Last week, the European Parliament and the Council finally reached agreement on the ‘Omnibus II’ Directive. (...) After more than 10 years of work, a world-leading regulatory framework will soon be in place”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the EIOPA Annual conference.
Commissioner Barnier welcomes trilogue agreement by Council and Parliament on the “Omnibus II” Directive
“This agreement is a very important step towards the introduction of a modern and risk-based solvency regime for the insurance industry in Europe as of 1 January 2016, making it both safer and more competitive. In practice it makes the implementation of Solvency II possible”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
“The Commission today at my request put forward a draft Directive postponing the application date of the Solvency II Directive to 1 January 2016 (...) I have always wanted rapid implementation of Solvency II. But the currently planned date is simply no longer tenable. We have therefore proposed this postponement in order to avoid any legal uncertainty”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has published a report assessing a possible package of measures to facilitate the provision of insurance products with long-term guarantees under the new Solvency II insurance regulatory regime. The Commission considers that the findings of the report can provide a basis for a political agreement on Omnibus II.
“I intend to present a proposal to improve the governance and transparency of occupational pension funds in the autumn. (...) This proposal will not cover the issue of solvency rules for pension funds”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
The European Commission today presented a strategy on adaptation to climate change. In a related measure, it also adopted a Green Paper on insurance in the context of natural and man-made disasters. This public consultation launches a wide debate on the adequacy and availability of existing insurance options.
In the aftermath of the biggest financial crisis in recent memory, the financial sector must place consumers at its heart. Retail products must be safer, information standards must become clearer, and those selling products must always be subject to the highest standards. The European Commission has adopted today a legislative package solely dedicated to consumers, which includes a proposal for a regulation on key information documents for packaged retail investment products (PRIPS), a revision of the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD), and a proposal to boost protection for those who buy investment funds (UCITS).
"We must restore confidence in the ability of the financial system to channel funding towards the real economy over the long term while protecting investors and consumers. By moving in this direction, our proposals on Solvency II, insurance intermediaries and occupational pensions institutions give us an opportunity to help put the European economy back on the path towards sustainable growth". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Insurance Europe Conference.
Towards a real single market for occupational pensions offering greater choice and better protection for pensioners
"I would like to outline the five reasons why I believe that the revision of the Directive will help us to benefit from a more modern legislative framework better adapted to current socio-economic requirements". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the public hearing on the revision of the Directive on occupational pensions.
"I am aware that there is a lot of concern about the introduction of risk-based solvency rules for pension funds. We will inspire ourselves from these rules when appropriate but that does not mean we will 'copy and paste' Solvency II" – Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
"With Solvency II, our goal is to introduce a modern solvency regime for all EU insurers and reinsurers". Speech by Commissioner Barnier to the French Federation of Insurance Companies (FFSA).
On the occasion of "Insurance Day", organized by the German Association of Insurers (GDV), Commissioner Barnier talks about the EU's key initiatives in this sector.
"With our proposals on Solvency II, on insurance intermediaries and on institutions for occupational retirement provision, 2012 promises to be at least as challenging as 2011". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the EIOPA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) Annual Conference.
Statement by Commissioner Barnier on today's announcement by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) of the results of the European insurance stress tests
"We Europeans, and more particularly the Greeks, are living through serious political developments which risk calling into question policies which have been patiently constructed. It is my belief that the relevance of these policies is in no way undermined by the current difficulties". Commissioner Barnier spoke in Athens via two video messages at the Convention of the Federation of European Stock Exchanges and the Conference of the Federation of European Insurers.
"Occupational pensions are an important pillar in the retirement system and we do not want to penalize the system". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Dutch Pension Funds' Annual Meeting.
The EU launches a public debate on the future of pensions. Article by Commissioners László Andor, Michel Barnier and Olli Rehn. Financial Times.
Commission urges insurance companies to participate in the Solvency II Quantitative Impact Study (QIS5) (IP/10/1064)
As part of its work creating a safer and sounder financial system, the European Commission has proposed to amend existing European rules on the supervision of financial conglomerates. Financial conglomerates are financial groups that are usually active in more than one country and operate in both the insurance and banking businesses.
Commission proposes package to boost consumer protection and confidence in financial services (IP/10/918)
Commissioner Barnier proposes new measures to improve protection for bank account holders, investors and insurance policy holders.
Opening address by Commissioner Barnier at the Public Hearing on the implementing measures for Solvency II.
Insurance: Michel Barnier announces an in-depth examination of insurance against natural catastrophes (IP/10/258)