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WorldPensionSummit

Conference speakers call for greater use of cross-border retirement plans

Francesco Briganti, CEO of Employee Benefits and Welfare Institute, speaks at the WorldPensionSummit at The Hague, Netherlands

European citizens need to save more through contributions to occupational retirement plans, said speakers at the Pensions & Investments WorldPensionSummit in The Hague, Netherlands.

Speaking on a panel Thursday, executives agreed that the European Commission is spending a lot of "political capital" to boost initiatives strengthening cross-border defined contribution plans in efforts to complete the capital markets union, a project aimed at facilitating long-term investing in the EU.

At the same time, there is an opposition from EU member states to complete consolidation of assets within cross-border pan-European retirement arrangements, which prevents management of assets under one vehicle, said Francesco Briganti, CEO of Employee Benefits and Welfare Institute.

But Matti Leppala, CEO and secretary general of PensionsEurope, warned that "the lack of (citizens') coverage through occupational pension plans is the real challenge."

Speakers agreed that a cross-border retirement plan setup could make the transition to defined contribution from defined benefit easier.

Christian Lemaire, global head of retirement solutions at Amundi, added, "and cross-border multilocal activity is already helping multinational corporations to strengthen the governance of pension funds across multiple jurisdictions."

But Mr. Briganti warned: "The voice supporting cross-border pensions in Brussels is missing at the present time."