Occupational pensions in Europe are mainly regulated at an institutional level. Pension funds (IORPs) and insurers are the main providers. These two providers have different financial and prudential frameworks. Especially the differences between solvency regulations are in the political debate. Nonetheless there are an increasing number of common rules applicable to all providers. From a social law perspective an upward convergence is happening throughout Europe. Small steps are being taken concerning common denominators regarding vesting, portability, equal treatment, insolvency of employers and pension communication or information. As far as cross-border mobility is concerned, a common European tax policy remains a major obstacle. Bi-lateral tax agreements based on the OECD-model remain the main legal bases. While the EU is pushing towards a Capital Markets Union including occupational pensions, this is far from self-evident for collective occupational pensions having a social aim. Occupational pensions cannot be seen as mere financial products.
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