Author(s): Elisabetta D Apolito & Giampiero Maci
Over the last few years, the pension system has become increasingly important, resulting in growing political attention and consequently an increase in rules and regulations for institutions for occupational retirement provision. The news regulations certainly determine an increasingly important impact in the operation and management of savings destined for private supplementary pensions, which contribute to social sustainability as part of the welfare system. In light of the European demographic context, national budgets and public debt, company and occupational pensions schemes finalcertainly represent an important way of integrating national pension systems and social security.
With reference to the European context, on 14 December 2016, the European Parliament and the Council published the new directive (EU) 2016/2341 - repealing the previous one of 2003 n. 417 - on the activities and supervision of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs ) that play a role crucial in payment of retirement benefits for occupational, taking into account the rules and of national traditions. They are therefore socially oriented entities that provide important financial services in the context of the relationship between worker and employer. Specifically, these are entities that should be fully distinct from any sponsoring undertaking or trade association, so that, in the event of the bankruptcy of a sponsoring undertaking, the assets of the IORP are safeguarded in the interest of the members and beneficiaries. Regardless of the legal form, the institution should operate according to the capitalization principle in order to provide retirement benefits in connection with an employment activity and on the basis of an agreement entered into individually or collectively between employer and employee or with self-employed workers, in accordance with the legislation of the home Member State and the host Member State.
The prudential provisions envisaged by the new European legislation are intended primarily to favor a sound, prudent and efficient management of company or occupational pension schemes. In particular, the regulator requires an adequate and transparent organizational structure, with a clear division and an appropriate separation of responsibilities, as well as an effective system to guarantee the correct transmission of information to members and beneficiaries. Furthermore, it is expressly provided that the management model is proportionate to the size, nature and complexity of the entity's activities. According to the new directive, IORPs must be effectively managed by at least two persons. Member states, however, may authorize the management by a single person on the basis of a reasoned assessment of the competent authorities.