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Pensions Committee

The European Commission set up an advisory committee in the area of supplementary pensions in order to find solutions to the obstacles associated with cross-border mobility of workers in the area of supplementary pensions.

ACT

Commission Decision 2001/548/EC of 9 July 2001 on the setting-up of a committee in the area of supplementary pensions [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

Following the approval of the Social Policy Agenda (2000-2005),which took up the question of the portability of occupational pension rights, the consultation begun by the Green Paper on supplementary pensions of 10 June 1997 and the communication " Towards a single market for supplementary pensions ". The latter proposed setting up a single market for supplementary pensions. On 9 July 2001 the Commission set up an advisory committee in the area of supplementary pensions.

The Forum's remit is to act as a consultative body for the Commission with regard to problems and developments at Community level affecting supplementary pensions. The Pensions Forum assists the Commission in particular in finding solutions to the problems and obstacles associated with cross-border mobility of workers in the area of supplementary pensions. In addition, where appropriate, and on the basis of a proposal from the Commission, the Forum's technical work may contribute to the activities of other related bodies or committees dealing with social and economic policy.

The Committee has 55 members and is made up of experts from national administrations in the EU and in other countries of the European Economic Area (EEA), social partners represented at European level and bodies involved in the area of supplementary pensions. The Committee may also invite anyone with particular knowledge of a subject included on the agenda of a Committee meeting to attend as an expert.

The members of the Committee, who meet at Commission headquarters, are appointed by the Commission on the basis of nominations from the Member States' governments, the other countries of the EEA, the social partners and the other bodies on the Committee. Committee members' term of office is two years and may be renewed.

The work of the Forum on supplementary pensions has confirmed that insufficient portability of supplementary pensions may create significant obstacles to the mobility of workers and therefore to the free movement of persons within the EU. While coordination of social security schemes allows migrant workers to fully preserve their accrued statutory pension rights, measures to improve the portability of supplementary pensions are still in their early stages. The difficulty in this area lies in the variety of supplementary pension schemes available and in the fact that they are often voluntary.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Decision 2001/548/EC

9.7.2001

-OJ L 196 of 20.7.2001
Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1792/20061.1.2007-OJ L 362 of 20.12.2006

RELATED ACTS

Commission Communication of 12 September 2003 concerning the second stage of consultation of social partners on measures to improve the portability of occupational pension rights [SEC(2003)916- Not published in the Official Journal].
Following the first stage of consultation of social partners on the portability of occupational pension rights, and in accordance with Article 138(2) of the EC Treaty, the Commission decided to begin a second stage of consultation of European social partners on the possible content of a Community measure to improve the portability of occupational pension rights.

Directive 2003/41/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 June 2003 on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision [Official Journal L 235 of 23.09.2003].
The aim of this Directive is to guarantee the freedom to provide occupational pension services across Europe and the free movement of capital in this sector. The common framework and the cooperation mechanisms created by the Directive will allow for the mutual recognition of pension funds and will therefore greatly widen the scope for cross-border management of occupational pension schemes and cross-border membership.

Commission Communication of 27 May 2002 concerning the first stage consultation of social partners on measures to improve the portability of supplementary pension rights [SEC(2002) 597 - Not published in the Official Journal].
The social partners were asked to give their opinion on the need for and possible direction of a Community action on the portability of occupational pension rights. In particular, the Commission consulted them on the usefulness of Community action in this field and the form such action should take (collective agreement, recommendation, code of practice, etc.).

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee - The elimination of tax obstacles to the cross-border provision of occupational pensions [COM(2001) 214 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
In this communication, the Commission called on Member States to eliminate all national tax rules which, by creating discriminatory conditions for occupational pension institutions established in other EU countries, are in breach of the Treaty's provisions on the free movement of workers and capital, and on the freedom to provide services in the area of supplementary pensions.

Last updated: 20.03.2008
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