The leaked draft of the IORP II Directive has received generally positive reactions from experts in the European pensions industry.Hans van Meerten, an associate at law firm Clifford Chance, said the draft version was very welcome, particularly with respect to cross-border and prudential regulations.He said the removal of the full funding requirement was a “big step forward”, given previous criticisms on the definition of cross-border activity, and that the added detail on prudential regulations was a positive move by the Commission.“It means, if IORPs do not comply with the Commission’s interpretation of prudential regulation, they might have a problem,” he said. “But, by regulating prudential regulation, you also regulate social and labour laws [in member states].” Van Meerten said it was a huge step in enhancing cross-border activity, and introduced mutual recognition between member states.Even when looking at the added detail on member communications and trustee board governance – pillars two and three – van Meerten said little came as a shock.“There is a sort of ‘copy and paste’ from the Solvency II Directive with regards to pillars two and three,” he said. “It is new that the way of thinking is in line with the Solvency II and UCITS way of thinking, and there is clear harmonisation in this field, which is welcome.”Dave Roberts, senior consultant at global consultancy Towers Watson, said that, despite rumours and counter-rumours, the leaked draft was evidence of commissioner Michel Barnier’s determination to press ahead with IORP II.“Barnier is due to publish a follow-up paper on long-term investments, and he may try to tie IORP II to this, as it could ease certain current investment restrictions on pensions – particularly for cross-border plans,” he said.On cross-border and prudential regulations, Mark Dowsy, senior consultant at Towers Watson, said the added detail over prudential regulations created uncertainty for anything currently considered under that banner but not included in the Commission’s draft.He also expressed doubts as to whether it would reach the final draft in its current form.“It will not be straightforward to push this one through,” he said.“There are certain elements that some member states may argue are social and labour law, which is a member state competence. This could potentially frustrate cross-border provisions.“Because the Commission is looking to iron out inconsistencies, it should mean it is easier to operate across borders, as it limits what member states can say is social and labour law.”Aon Hewitt said that if the final version of the directive followed the content of the leaked draft, it would provide a “significant boost” to cross-border pension provision in Europe.Paul Bonser, partner and head of Aon Hewitt EU Cross-Border Pensions Consulting, said the legislation could be a “real breakthrough”.“Aon Hewitt’s large global cross-border clients have met the Commission to explain how and why they are setting up cross-border plans, and how things can be made easier,” he said. “If the Commission has listened – and this leaked draft would indicate that they have – then there could be a golden opportunity for multinational companies.”But not everyone is convinced. Bernhard Wiesner – senior vice-president of pensions at the Bosch pension fund and a board member of the German pension fund association – spoke of urgency of cross-border pensions for European worker.“Occupational pensions are the most efficient form of funded retirement provision because they rest on employers as well as social partners,” he said.“It currently only exists in very few member states – and even then, often insufficiently so. Occupation pensions are urgently needed for workers on a large-scale across the whole of the EU.”However, on the merits of the draft IORP II Directive, he was less than optimistic. “So far, it is unapparent how this draft is to encourage employers and social partners to strengthen and expand occupational pensions and IORPs within the EU.”
Moore said: “He’s probably the best five-furlong horse in England and Ireland. He was back to his best today. If he gets a hard pace to run at he’s about the best there is.” Lynam added: “Ryan said he was super today. Unlike his trainer, he is improving with age. He’s very honest – too honest – and Ryan loved him today. “We’re looking forward to another good season. If he gets three things – his ground, that he’s bouncing out of his skin, and that Ryan Moore rides – he’ll go to the Temple Stakes. If not, then he’s off to the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot.” Kingsgate Native’s effort delighted his trainer Robert Cowell, who said: “He’s nine years old and showing no signs of stopping. “He looked a bit burly today but the plan was to have him ready to defend his title in the Temple Stakes. I don’t think he’ll be going to Royal Ascot anyway.” Press Association Sole Power recorded back-to-back-victories in the Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes at Newmarket with another classy display. Ryan Moore brought Eddie Lynam’s dual Group One winner to lead inside the final furlong after Justineo and Stepper Point had made the running in this Group Three five-furlong dash. Despite having to be switched right for a clear run at a vital stage, the 9-4 favourite found a terrific turn of foot and got home by half a length from Kingsgate Native, who was also second 12 months ago. Hot Streak was another head away in third.
Ulrik Bengtsson Group Chief Executive of William Hill Plc has agreed to relinquish his executive performance rewards and entitlements for 2020, in light of ongoing COVID-19 impacts on the business and its global workforce.William Hill confirmed Bengtsson’s decision publishing the FTSE250 betting group’s ‘2020 Executive Remuneration’ report this afternoon.Countering COVID-19 disruptions across its business channels, William Hill governance states that its focus remains on ‘protecting key stakeholders – employees, suppliers, customers and shareholders’. Recognising hardships, William Hill confirms that all retail employees who have been furloughed following shop closures will receive full pay ‘for the time being’.Protecting company payroll, William Hill’s executive leadership team and senior management forgo bonuses packages and pay increases for 2020.“Ulrik Bengtsson has decided that he should not accept the 2020 Performance Share Plan award made to him on 9 March 2020, and that award will, accordingly, lapse. No other 2020 PSP awards will be made to senior executives at William Hill, including our new CFO, Matt Ashley” – William Hill governance details in its statement.The FTSE bookmaker confirms that it will maintain salary increases for non-executive employees in-line with national minimum wage adjustments.Further remuneration commitments, see William Hill lower executive maximum pension contributions from 20% of salary to a 5% base, which will be attributed across its general workforce. GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020 SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 William Hill accelerates transformation agenda to overcome COVID realities August 5, 2020 Share Share StumbleUpon Submit Related Articles