European Parliament voted in favour of a new EU occupational pension fund Directive
Today the European Parliament voted in favour of a new EU occupational pension fund Directive, for which I was the lead negotiator in Parliament. This is a good day for European pensioners as we have brought more protection, more transparency and more security to how occupational pension funds are managed. We have achieved the right balance between respecting the differences between Member States’ pension systems while also encouraging pension mobility.
This is an important piece of legislation that will affect pensioners and members of pension schemes alike but a key priority in this was to ensure that the rights and interests of these pensioners and scheme members were protected. The EU needs to be careful when we are dealing with people’s savings.
I am optimistic that today’s agreement will pave the way for a stronger internal market for pensions. But I also feel that this vote can kick-start a real debate on pensions in many Member States, a debate that is very much needed all over Europe. People are living longer in Europe now and populations are ageing. There is a pension time bomb coming down the tracks and we don’t have the answers to this problem, particularly in Ireland. Yes, every day in Ireland people put aside income to make adequate provision for their pension cover into the future. But we have to encourage people to save and manage these schemes to the highest standards. Less than 40% of Irish employees are covered by a workplace pension scheme.