European Union finance ministers today reached a broad agreement on rules to allow pension funds based in EU-member countries to operate across borders, ending an 18-month impasse. However, because of reservations by Belgian officials, formal endorsement was postponed until a meeting of finance ministers ahead of an EU summit in Seville, Spain, on June 21-22. If Belgium remains the lone dissenting member, the proposal still would pass because of the EUs weighted voting rules.
Under the new rules, large firms will be able to offer their employees a single pan-EU occupational pension fund, which could reduce administrative costs. Also, fund managers could market their products abroad, subject to some minor restrictions.