Regulating pensions: Why the European Union matters

  • Hans van Meerten Hans van Meerten
  • Sybe de Vries Sybe de Vries
  • Ton van den Brink Ton van den Brink

EU law is becoming increasingly relevant for pensions. Inexploring the ways in which EU laws affect national pensionssystems, this paper discusses the following: 1) the principleof subsidiarity and the division of powers between the EUand the Member States; 2) the concept of ‘services of generaleconomic interest’ and; 3) the case law regarding the level ofsolidarity of a pension fund casu quo scheme. National policymakersshould take these concepts into account when designingnational pension law and policy. The paper also focuses on somefundamental questions regarding the scope of the IORP Directive.This analysis sheds light on the highly complex world of EUPensions, and demonstrates that the division of powers betweenthe EU and the Member States regarding pensions is blurred andneeds clarification.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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