Earlier this month, CEIOPS and Swiss FOPI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (press release) covering the procedures of cross border supervision of insurance groups. This MoM is interesting in that it is the logical consequence of the 1989 Insurance Agreement between Switzerland and the EU, which extends the EU's freedom of establishment to Swiss insurance undertakings.
From a pensions viewpoint, there are two relevant aspects: 1) The MoM might serve as a blueprint for cooperation in the pensions arena. This presupposes however that there is 2) a supervisory body of Swiss IORPs which is capable of filling the same rôle. Currently, it is questionable whether that rôle might be filled by the FSIO, which does not act as a direct supervisor to IORPs. We note however that, generally speaking, insurers seem to be well ahead of the "pensions pack" with regards to European market access. Their specific advantage with regards to market access to the new pan-european pensions market seems to be limited, though, since Appendix 2 of the Insurance Agreement appears to exlude such business lines from the scope of the Agreement.