Germany’s occupational pensions association, aba, has called on EIOPA and ”other institutions” to respect the timeline for a review of the new IORP II Directive, stating that a recent proposal from the former shows that the “Damocles sword” of solvency requirements still hangs over the industry.In an analysis of the revised EU Directive for Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs), the final proposal for which was agreed in June, the association said the Directive will lead to higher standards in the areas of governance, risk management, and information.However, it will not trigger large growth in the number of IORPs in Germany or spur a boom in cross-border activity, according to aba.It noted that IORP II did not introduce new solvency requirements for workplace pension providers, which it said would have made occupational pension provision considerably more costly, and unnecessarily so. However, it considers that the “Damocles sword” of such requirements still hangs over the industry, citing an April 2016 recommendation from the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) for a common framework for risk assessment and transparency for IORPs.The proposal met with criticism by some in the industry when it was first released, and aba has also come out against the proposal, seeing it as equivalent to EIOPA’s Holistic Balance Sheet approach, and therefore “old wine in new bottles”.An important aspect from aba’s perspective is that under EIOPA’s proposal, national supervisory authorities should be able to take regulatory action against individual IORPs based on the results of the proposed risk assessment framework.The association fears that EIOPA would try to implement its common framework recommendation through Article 29 of the IORP II Directive, which sets out the requirement for own risk assessments by IORPs. In its analysis of the final proposal for the new IORP Directive, aba noted that it is down to Member States to require and ensure IORPs fulfil the own risk assessment requirements, and that neither the European Commission nor EIOPA are given any role to play in this regard.The final draft also stripped the Commission of the ability to pass delegated acts once the final draft had been agreed by the European Parliament, making it near impossible for EIOPA to impose new technical standards at a later date.“We hope that the implementation details will be specified by the individual Member States and that Article 29 of IORP II will not leave open the back door for EIOPA to introduce the common framework,” said the association.Aba said that such a move would be “decidedly against European lawmakers’ intention”, with use of the Holistic Balance Sheet precisely not provided for by the IORP II Directive.The preamble to the finalised IORP II Directive includes a strong statement against “further development at Union level of solvency models”, and the final proposal for the new legislation also omits quantitative requirements – seen as potentially amounting to solvency requirements – from the scope of the post-implementation review of the IORP II Directive.The proposal for the new Directive foresees the review taking place six years after its entry into force, and aba said “this provision from European lawmakers should be respected by all institutions, and accordingly therefore also by EIOPA”.
Radio NZ News 11 March 2020Family First Comment: “In a confused vote in Parliament, MPs have done away with all sections of the Abortion Legislation Bill that would have made legally protected ‘safe areas’ possible outside clinics.”Whoops! The bill had its second reading in Parliament last night, in which possible changes were debated and voted on ahead of the third and final reading.ACT leader David Seymour’s proposal was voted for in two parts – the first, to have the definition of Safe Zones removed from the bill, was narrowly voted down 59 votes to 56.However, MPs seemed unprepared for a second vote on the substance of his changes – doing away with all the provisions that would put safe zones in place.Up for debate were 150-metre safe zones that could be established around abortion clinics on a case-by-case basis, to prohibit intimidating or interfering behaviour.That second vote was on removing all the legal provisions for safe zones, including the ways in which the police could administer them so as to protect women from harassment as they sought abortions.That vote, to delete sections 15 through 17 of the bill, was taken in a voice vote only, and it passed – rendering the definition of ‘safe area’ redundant in the law.Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley passed it on a verbal vote.READ MORE: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/411409/mps-vote-to-remove-abortion-clinic-safe-zones-from-billAndrew Little will not try to re-insert ‘safe zones’ into abortion bill after procedural snafuStuff co.nz 11 March 2020Justice Minister Andrew Little will not try to re-introduce “safe zones” into his abortion legalisation bill after a procedural snafu saw them removed on Tuesday night.The proposed safe zones would set up a regime where protest and harassment of those seeking abortions could be barred within 150 metres of clinics.But some MPs are against the safe zones on free speech grounds, including several who support the wider abortion legalisation bill.Abortion is generally treated as a “conscience issue” – meaning MPs can vote freely of their parties, which can make things much more chaotic.On a late night sitting on Tuesday night those against the safe zones actually lost their first attempt to remove them, when an amendment deleting the definition of safe zones lost 59 votes to 56.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/120177061/andrew-little-will-not-try-to-reinsert-safe-zones-into-abortion-bill-after-procedural-snafu