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 Full text 
Thursday, 4 April 2019 - Brussels Provisional edition

Pan-European Personal Pension Product (debate)

  Brian Hayes, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, can I firstly congratulate Sophia in ’t Veld and all our colleagues who worked so closely with us to get this result today and to thank the Commission.

Last year in my country, Ireland, 30 000 EU citizens came to work, because we have full employment in Ireland. Many of them are young people. Many of them have come to Ireland and worked for maybe four or five years and then go back to their home country or go to another country to work. It is crucially important that we get people saving earlier, as the Commissioner rightly said, and one of the advantages of PEPP now is that we have a pan-European product.

This is not the end of PEPP; this is the first step, we’re taking baby steps here today. But it’s an important first step in trying to get the message across. Those young people who are travelling to Ireland and elsewhere to work have the opportunity of buying into a pan-European pension.

Secondly, it is important that this is part of the capital markets union. We need to get the connection going between investment and savers. That’s where the big problem is in Europe right now.

From my perspective it was very important that this product was provided for by a multiple of providers. So it’s important that the insurance industry, asset managers and others are now able to provide this product on a pan-European basis. But I want to reiterate, this is a third pillar product. This is a voluntary product. It does not cut across in any way first or second pillar pension provision. This is a product that delivers on strong consumer protection. It delivers on giving citizens full transparency of costs and ESG policy. It ensures mandatory advice, strong contract requirements, rights of switching and a fee cap, and the product intervention powers of EIOPA and competent authorities.

We have made a good start with this proposal. It is not the end of the matter by any manner or means, but it certainly deals with the issue that we face in Europe, that we are going to have. It is anticipated that we will have one worker for every two pensioners by 2060. Currently there are four pensioners for every one worker. If we don’t encourage people to save we’re going to find our situation getting worse and worse over the years.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

Last updated: 14 June 2019Legal notice