What are occupational pension funds?

Occupational pension funds are financial institutions that manage collective retirement schemes for employers, in order to provide benefits to employees.

Occupational pension funds benefit from the principles of free movement of capital and free provision of services in the EU. This means that

  • pension funds in one EU country can manage occupational pension schemes for companies established in another EU country
  • pan-EU companies can have a single pension fund for all their subsidiaries throughout the EU

Occupational pension funds operating in the EU are regulated by Directive 2003/41/EC, also known as the IORP directive.

Revision of the IORP directive

In December 2016, the EU adopted a recast version of the IORP directive to encourage long-term investment through occupational pension funds.

The new rules aim to

  • ensure that occupational pensions are sound and better protect pension scheme members and beneficiaries
  • better inform members and beneficiaries about their entitlements
  • remove obstacles faced by occupational pension funds operating across borders
  • encourage occupational pension funds to invest long-term in economic activities that enhance growth, environment and employment 

EU countries must transpose the new rules into their national law by 13 January 2019.

Documents

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