Trade Association Launches European Pension Institute

Newly formed organization aims to address gap and promote personal pensions.

The European Federation of Financial Advisers and Financial Intermediaries (FECIF) is launching a pan-European pension foundation—the FECIF European Pension Institute—to help address the pension gap, and promote the development of consumer-oriented personal pension offerings.

“The subject of additional pension provision is now more than ever on the table, with the European Commission’s draft Regulation for a Pan-European Personal Pension Product,” Daphne Foulkes, chair of the FECIF European Pension Institute (FEPI), said in a release.

The FECIF is a Brussels-based non-profit organization that was formed in 1999 to promote the role of financial advisers and intermediaries in Europe.  It represents more than 30 trade bodies or industry organizations, through which it acts on behalf of over 245,000 advisors and intermediaries in Europe, and approximately 640,000 individuals in total.

The European Commission, in a 2012 white paper, proposed the framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) to encourage the development of voluntary individually funded pensions in Europe. Foulkes said FECIF has had a PEPP working group “for some time” and will continue to participate in the debate on the PEPP, particularly concerning the need to align the interests of all potential stakeholders.

“This work will now come under the newly formed FEPI,” she said.

Foulkes, who is currently a financial adviser with Barcelona-based The Spectrum IFA Group, which provides financial advice, and retirement and pension planning, has previously worked as a senior pensions expert at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. She will be joined by Simon Colboc, FEPI’s first Secretary General, who has held executive roles at BNP Paribas, Fortis, and Prudential plc.

Foulkes will also chair FEPI’s Technical Committee, which will review the evolution of pension regulations across Europe, demographic and economic trends impacting pensions, offerings developed by providers, and pension issues raised by consumers and advisers across Europe.

The FEPI will hold its first formal meeting in Paris on June 22 to “bring together all relevant stakeholders, updating them on the political progress, and debating some of the current issues with the PEPP.”

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