Aon’s Dutch clients no longer offered United Pensions solutions
With the implementation of the EU’s IORP II Directive, Aon in December 2019 announced it would stop offering its United Pensions solution for cross border pension solutions.
Aon Retirement and Investment, Netherlands, CEO, Frank Driessen, explained that while existing Dutch United Pension clients will not be affected, there is a great deal of uncertainty and mistrust around cross-border pension transfers.
What has been a thorn in the side of United Pensions is actual implementation in EU countries and local legislation in the Netherlands, where two-thirds majority (Dutch specific legislation) is required among participants for cross-border pension transfers.
This is coupled with implementation in the Netherlands (and other EU countries), and constant changes that make it unattractive and cumbersome. In fact, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Financial Stability and Capital Markets (DG FISMA) launched infringement procedures against 17 EU member states for mismanagement of implementation of the directive, including Bulgaria, Cyprus Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Thierry Verkest, Partner, Aon United Pensions, mentioned this during his presentation at the recent CBBA-Europe conference, highlighting the issue and questioning its implementation and outcome:
“I still don’t understand how that is possible and how can you ask individual members of a local pension fund to transfer their pension rights to another country. Ask an 85-year-old pensioner ‘do you want to transfer your rights to another pension fund cross-border?’. Those people do not understand how it works, why you are doing this, how can you ask something like that?”
Secretary General of CBBA, Francesco Briganti echoed the sentiment:
“CBBA-Europe will advocate that the EU takes measures obliging the Netherlands to modify its controversial legislation discouraging cross-border activities, and in order to avoid a domino effect, which might tempt other EU member states to emulate the Netherlands, if there is a lack of action from the EU.”
Launched in 2014, United Pensions is Aon’s multi-employer multi-country pension solution that provides employers with access to economies of scale on a E.U.-wide, multi-country basis without having to establish and run their own cross-border pension fund.