Towards A Eu-Wide Market for Occupational Pensions.
29 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2013
Date Written: September 14, 2005
Pension policy is by far nationally embedded and pension systems differ in accordance with the socio-economic specificities and sensitivities of each country. Nevertheless, there is one general trend in pension policies across Europe; a constant shift from public pay-as-you-go to privately funded pension schemes, giving birth to various formulae of “complementary” or “supplementary” or, when work-related, “occupational” pensions. This shift is justified by the demographic ageing and its burden on national public finances, but it is also initiated by the European integration project itself, that increasingly calls for a “pension fund capitalism”. However, a genuine single market for occupational pensions remains a far-reaching goal and, in order to realize why, one has to go beyond the framework of the so-called "pension funds" Directive 2003/41/EC. Old Europe used to be divided ideologically and politically in Bismarck and Beveridge-type countries; it used to distinguish between “stakeholder” and “shareholder” economy. New Europe is the constant struggle for striking a fair balance. At a time when the frontiers between financial service providers are blurring, it is the constant interplay between regulators/supervisors and interest groups that will determine the degree of solidarity and security within funded pension schemes in an integrated financial services market.
Keywords: EU, Directive 2003/41/EC, financial services market, occupational pensions, pension funds, pension schemes
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