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House of Lords written question – answered on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Lord Myners Lord Myners Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the European Commission's proposals to bring pension fund investment rules into line with the Solvency II directive for insurers, with particular regard to the impact on United Kingdom pensions funds investing in infrastructure projects; and whether they are able to exclude the United Kingdom from the implementation of this proposal.

Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury

The Solvency II directive will introduce a new, risk-based standard for insurance regulation. The European Commission has issued a call for advice to the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on the application of Solvency II to Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPS). EIOPA is currently consulting on the advice it will provide to the Commission, and is due to respond to the Commission in 2012.

The proposals are not yet sufficiently precisely defined to allow the Government to carry out an impact assessment, or assess the likely impact on investment in infrastructure. The Government are pressing EIOPA to provide an impact assessment when it issues its advice.

The Government have serious concerns over any potential proposals to align pension fund capital rules with the Solvency II directive and has made clear that it will be opposing any such proposals.

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