NU Online News Service, June 27, 12:27 p.m. – The European Financial Services Round Table, Paris, is calling on European countries to form a single market for private pension products and services.

The round table, a group representing large European banks and insurers, argues that Europe desperately needs an integrated private pension market to reduce the gap between consumers’ high expectations and government-run pension systems’ meager resources.

The round table made the following specific recommendations:

  • Tax penalties that discourage residents of one European Union country from investing in pension plans from other E.U. countries should be eliminated.
  • The European Union should set up a consistent, E.U.-wide pension taxation system, and any new E.U. members should adopt similar taxation systems.
  • E.U. pension holders should be able to change jobs, country of employment, or country of residence without suffering any pension-related penalties.
  • E.U. employees who move from one E.U. country to another while working for the same employer should be able to stay in the same employer-sponsored pension plan.
  • Regulators should make sure that pension fund managers in any country manage the funds properly; give consumers full, easily understood information about plan provisions; and provide full, timely, user-friendly account statements showing the present and expected future value of pension income.

The round table has posted a copy of the report on the Web, at http://www.efsrt.org/efsrt/press4.html