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finance ministers adopt pension directive
May 13, 2003
finance ministers gave the green light to a safer retirement for
future pensioners (Photo: EUobserver.com)
Brussels - The Ecofin Council (EU ministers of
economy and finance) adopted today, 13 May, a long-discussed directive for
the protection of pensioners.
directive focuses on creating an internal market for occupational pensions
requiring that funds hold sufficient assets to cover their commitments.
Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein said, "The Directive will ...give
European companies and citizens the opportunity to benefit from more
efficient pan-European pension funds, and so make an important
contribution to tackling the "pension time bomb".
text, which has been negotiated by the Council for more than 10 years,
finally provides pension funds with a coherent framework to operate within
the internal market. The initiative will ensure workers receiving a
pension fund are protected as it will offer EU supervision of all company
will ensure a high level of protection for members and beneficiaries of
pension funds and will enable institutions to accept sponsorship by a
company located in another member state.
European Commission is marking this as a "historical agreement"
and stresses that the institutions involved cover about 25 per cent of the
Union's labour force and manage some 2,500 billion Euro worth of assets,
or 29% of the EU's GDP.
will not affect member state legislation in the area of social protection
and national pension schemes. What it does do is make labour movement from
country to country easier as workers will be able to transfer their
pensions between member states.
EU states will have 27 months to implement the directive, after its
publication in the EU Official Journal.
Ecofin Council also looked into the sustainability of public finances and
the overall impact of ageing populations on public finances. A report to
be handed in by November should give a clear overview on these issues.
© 2002 Global Action on Aging
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