EIOPA vor der NAPF:

„Please don’t let me down.“

von Pascal Bazzazi, Frankfurt am Main, 19. November 2014

 

EIOPA-Chef Gabriel Bernardino hat am 17. Oktober in Liverpool vor dem britischen Pensionsfondsverband eine Rede gehalten, in der der umfangreich seine Sicht auf die Dinge des betrieblichen Pensionswesens schildert – mit Hilfe der Beatles.

 

 

Ein Aufeinandertreffen von European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority einerseits und der National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) andererseits, also des britischen Pendants zur deutschen aba, hat man nicht alle Tage. Hält man sich die Vorbehalte des britischen Pensionswesens gegenüber der ausholenden europäischen Regulierung ebenso vor Augen wie die Tatsache, dass künftig wohl ein britischer Kommissar für das Pensionswesen als auch für die EIOPA zuständig sein wird, muss es für den Portugiesen gewesen sein, als trete er in der Höhle des Löwen auf.

 

Im Folgenden Auszüge aus Bernardinos Rede (laut 9-seitigem Redemanuskript, das sich hier findet):

 

 

Hilfreiche Begriffsbestimmung

 

Wenn Sie, lieber Leser, sich schon mal gefragt haben, was in der EIOPA-Terminologie „private pensions“ und was „personal pensions“ sind und wozu nun die bAV gehört, dann gab es in Liverpool Auflösung:

 

The priority goal for all of us should be to support the further development of private complementary pension savings in the EU, be it 2nd pillar occupational pensions or 3rd pillar personal pensions.“

 

Die Mittel zu diesem Ziel im Allgemeinen kann eigentlich kaum jemand zurückweisen:

 

In my opinion, an important strategy to achieve this goal is to provide a robust and proportionate EU regulatory framework capable of regaining the trust and confidence of EU citizens in private complementary pension savings. To achieve this strategy I believe that the regulatory framework needs to deliver on three fundamental objectives: enhanced sustainability, strong governance and full transparency.“

 

 

Warum HBS?

 

Die tief verwurzelten Unterschiede der europäischen Pensionssysteme erkennt der Portugiese sehr wohl an:

 

Pensions are different because of their 'embeddedness' in social and labour law; because of their social objectives; because of their particular governance, involving employers and social partners; different because of their unique distribution of risks.“

 

Dann folgt das „Aber“:

 

But, in spite of these differences, members and beneficiaries are citizens who deserve adequate protection, who have the right to know the sustainability of the promises that are made to them, who need to understand the risks that they are running, the costs that they are paying, who deserve that pension funds are properly governed and that pension schemes have a high degree of quality.

 

So pension funds need specific regulation that takes into account these differences and that’s what EIOPA has been advocating and practising. By developing an innovative 'Holistic Balance Sheet' approach that takes into consideration all benefit adjustment and security mechanisms, such as sponsor support and pension protection schemes, capturing the specificities of pension funds in the various member states…“

 

Das klingt alles immer noch nach einem Verständnis von bAV als Finanzdienstleistung – eine Sicht auf die Dinge, von der sich der Europäische Rat zwischenzeitlich sichtlich entfernt, dann jedoch wieder angenähert hat.

 

 

QIS II für Pensionseinrichtungen

 

Wie berichtet, plant die europäische Aufsichtsbehörde eine zweite Auswirkungsstudie für das Pensionswesen. In Liverpool bestätigte der Portugiese:

 

The further work on the holistic balance sheet has to be tested through a quantitative assessment. EIOPA expects to publish draft technical specifications for such an assessment by early 2015. Our final aim is to deliver robust, tested proposals to the EU political institutions by the end of 2015, beginning of 2016.“

 

 

Stresstest ante portas

 

Neben der QIS kommt bekanntlich weitere Arbeit auf europäische EbAV zu:

 

EIOPA is now preparing a pensions stress test. We are taking a two-stage approach: preparatory work in 2014 and running the stress test in 2015. Our aim is to develop a stress test framework that is appropriate and suitable for pension funds.

 

An important part of the preparatory work is to gain insight in the role of IOPR’s in financial stability. To analyse transmission channels of IORP’s to financial markets, EIOPA will soon start a data collection exercise covering a sample of defined benefit, hybrid and defined contribution schemes in member states with a significant IORP sector, including, of course, the UK. This exercise will allow us to assess the pro-cyclicality of pension funds investment behaviour during the past decade, including the financial crisis in 2008.

 

[…]

 

The stress test will assess the resilience and the behaviour of IORP’s in adverse market developments, such as a prolonged low interest environment or a sudden material reassessment of risk premia. It will also incorporate stresses in longevity as one of the major risks in pension funds overall financial condition.“

 

Der Stresstest wird DB- und DC-Versorgungswerke erfassen und alles dazwischen auch:

 

Our intention is that the pension stress test will cover IORP’s that provide defined benefit schemes as well as the ones that finance hybrid or defined contribution plans. We will conduct the stress test in parallel with the quantitative assessment on the solvency side in order to avoid the duplication of calculations. This will limit to the extent possible the burden on pension funds and supervisory authorities.“

 

 

Die Söhne der Stadt

 

Der zwar selbstbewusste, aber gleichwohl stets charmante Portugiese ließ es sich in Liverpool nicht nehmen, zum Schluss seiner Rede einige Parallelen zwischen dem Pensionswesen und den Werken der wohl abseits des Fußballs wichtigsten Söhnen der gastgebenden Stadt zu ziehen – den Beatles:

 

What is impressive is that when you look at the Beatles songs they have a lot in common with today’s subject – pensions. We need to 'Come together' to achieve realistic valuations of IORP’s liabilities. But, 'With a little help from my friends' it was possible to find a pragmatic way to value sponsor support. To achieve success on this journey it will probably be 'A long and winding road' with a lot of 'Twist and shout', but 'We can work it out'. One would hope that success for everyone would see our future beneficiaries 'When I am 64' looking at their retirement future thinking 'Here comes the sun'. Please 'Don’t let me down'.

 

Manch ein Zuhörer aus den Reihen des versammelten britischen Pensionswesens mag da gedacht haben: „Help“.

 

 

 


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