EU's Barnier softens new rules for pension funds

BRUSSELS Thu May 23, 2013 4:57pm BST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Pension funds in the European Union will not be required to increase their capital in the same way as banks and insurers will have to, under draft rules due later this year, the EU's top regulatory official said on Thursday.

Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of financial regulation, said he would propose pension fund legislation in the autumn which would focus on governance, transparency and reporting requirements but "will not cover the issue of solvency rules for pension funds."

Such rules could be considered in the future, he said.

Britain, Germany and the Netherlands were among the countries that had urged the European Commission not to force retirement funds to hold additional capital.

The commssion decided on a softer approach in order to avoid hampering pension fund investment and possible knock-on impacts on the economy, an EU official said.

Banks and insurers are being obliged to hold capital reserves in strict proportion to the risks they take on.

(Reporting By John O'Donnell; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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