The IMA gave its warning in response to the European Commission’s Green Paper on pensions, which looked at the issues facing the provision of retirement solutions in Europe.
The consultation paper, which closed for comments earlier this week, asked the European finance industry to consider issues such as the sustainability of current systems, mobility of pensions across the EU, gaps in regulation, the risk of employer insolvency and governance at EU level.
The IMA said, while it believed there are a number of merits to introducing a single European system, any new regulation should not damage existing provisions.
Jonathan Lipkin head of research at the IMA said: “A single European market for pensions is difficult to achieve, but has significant potential benefits for savers. The removal of obstacles to cross-border pension provision and the creation of a pan-European pensions wrapper would facilitate both portability and economies of scale.
“For now though, pension provision remains at a national level. Care must be taken to ensure that regulatory requirements do not damage existing provision. While it is understandable that the Commission seeks robust protection mechanisms for savers, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.”
Shortly before the launch of the consultation paper in July this year, the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) held an event at which regulators, industry executives and investors all called for a “pan-European long term savings product” to be established.
EFAMA also published a report in March supporting this view and said in a statement that “European consumers need a product that is simple, cost-effective and transparent to encourage long-term savings.”
However, the IMA warned against pushing through changes which could be damaging for individual nation’s pension systems and, specifically, about the dangers of applying the Solvency II regime to schemes not designed for insurance policies.