Monday, December 04, 2006

Global pensions survey

While Allianz already enters the fray, dutch competitor Aegon prepares the ground with an extensive survey, a summary of which is available here. The report's hardly surprising key findings are:
1. Complexity of pension regulations affects European competitiveness: Dealing with disparate national regulations of pension plans is especially difficult in Europe, affecting all multinationals with sizable operations there. Three out of four experts surveyed consider the complexity of pension regulation in Europe as a factor affecting labour competitiveness. According to the study, this has resulted in increasing the determination of multinationals to seek a greater level of consolidation of pension affairs in Europe.
2. Multinational firms will lead the way: The survey shows that although pension systems currently remain country-specific, multinational firms have taken the lead in driving cross-border pension integration. They have influenced the direction of the market into designing and implementing pragmatic solutions for the management of global pension arrangements.
3. Clear shift of risk from company to individual: Although there are differences between countries regarding the relative use of defined benefit and defined contribution plans, there is broad consensus among experts surveyed that the global trend of shifting risk and choice from a company's balance sheet to individual employees will continue.
P.S. Thanks to Aegon for sending a copy of the full report. It is striking that despite of the Swiss pensions market's relative size and maturity, none of the 115 experts queried represent a Swiss firm. Have Swiss pensions entered the dubious realm of insignificance?

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