AGE has joined forces with Better Finance to highlight shortcomings in recent EU agreements that would go against the interests of pension savers and users of financial services.
Final EU Compromise on European Personal Pensions: basic pension safety not guaranteed
EU citizens are increasingly asked to rely on personal pension products (PEPPs) to complement insufficient State and occupational pension plans. Unfortunately, many pension savings products are underperforming, complex and non-transparent.
This is why AGE is joining forces with Better Finance to welcome the EU compromise reached on 13 February 2019 between the European Commision, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for the creation of a pan-European Personal Pension Product aimed to ensure pension adequacy and safety through decent long-term returns. Yet, we also warns of a scam in the definition of ‘capital guarantee’ adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, which, as it stands, does not ensure safe basic PEPP and makes the capital invested by EU pension savers “anything but guaranteed”. Read more in Better Finance and AGE joint press release and sign the petition to stand up against this scam and demand a real and clear guarantee of your pension savings.
EU financial consumer protection in danger?
Another area of concern is the reform of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) proposed by the Council of the EU. ESAs play a crucial role in harmonising supervision of financial services and ensuring that citizens using financial services across the EU are properly protected. To fulfil their mission they must be given the necessary tools, mandate and resources. Together with Better Finance, BEUC, Finance Watch and Families Europe, we urge the members of the Council of the EU to support the concrete proposals made by the European Parliament to allow the ESAs to effectively improve consumer protection.
These proposals include:
- A stronger mandate to contribute to achieving a level playing field where consumers can have access to fair and comparable financial services, products and redress.
- A mandate to develop standards on conduct of business supervision addressed to national competent authorities, such as on minimum powers and tasks.
- Reinforcing product intervention powers, by allowing the ESAs to ban financial products and activities that may cause significant consumer detriment.
- The possibility for the ESAs to conduct investigations into particular products / financial institutions if they constitute a potential threat to consumer protection.
- Mystery shopping activities to be coordinated with the National Competent Authorities (NCAs).
- Genuine balance between industry and non-industry members of the ESAs Stakeholder Groups, and adequate compensation to non-industry, non for profit stakeholders to ensure their independence and participation in the Stakeholder Groups.
- A broader competence to consider environmental, social and governance factors in their mandate.
Read our joint letter to the members of the Council of the EU