Pension supervisors strengthen global oversight
16/10/2009, Rio de Janeiro - At the Occasion of the 2009 Annual General Meeting – held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) approved a series of guidelines and reports designed to strengthen the supervisory oversight of global pension systems and protect vulnerable pension fund members and retirees in the face of challenging and volatile economic conditions.
The IOPS ‘Guidelines for Supervisory Intervention, Sanctions and Enforcement’ outline international good practice regarding powers needed and used by supervisory authorities in relation to intervening, applying sanctions and enforcement. Likewise the Working Paper No.11 covering ‘Pension Funds’ Risk-management Frameworks: Regulation and Supervisory Oversight’ outlines the type of risk-management systems supervisory authorities expect pension funds to have in place, and ways for supervisors to check that these systems are operating in practice and not only on paper.
Further, following the failures in effective oversight of the global financial system, IOPS members have been looking at their own operations and governance. The IOPS Working Paper No. 10 ‘Governance and Performance Mechanisms of Supervisory Authorities’ highlights how the good governance of pension supervisory authorities can be summarized in four categories: independence; accountability; transparency and; integrity. Though measuring the performance of oversight bodies is never simple, IOPS members are recommended to use a combination of tools, from quantitative benchmarks to reputational surveys and cost measures.
Commenting on the approved documents, IOPS President, Mr. Ross Jones, Deputy Chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) said: “I am pleased that the organization continues to make progress in developing a robust and practical body of work to aid our members in their important task of protecting investors in our ever-growing global pension funds. The turmoil in the financial markets in 2008 only serves to remind us that supervisors must constantly review and improve their own oversight systems and the IOPS international standards and surveys are an important resource for helping us stay at the forefront of pension supervision.”
Mr. Jones was reelected to serve a further 2 years as IOPS President at the AGM. Representative authorities from Australia, Egypt, India, Italy and Jordan were also elected to serve on the IOPS Executive Committee.
Notes for Journalist
The International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS) is an independent international body representing those involved in the supervision of private pension arrangements. The organisation currently has over 60 members and observers representing supervisory bodies from around 55 countries and territories worldwide - from Australia to Zambia - covering all levels of economic development and bringing together all types of pension and supervisory systems.
The IOPS, formed in July 2004, was instigated by the International Network of Pension Regulators (INPRS), an informal network of regulators and supervisors. It was felt that, concerning supervision, a more formal, independent, body could better serve as a world-wide forum for policy dialogue and the exchange of information, as well as the standard setting body, promoting good practices in pension supervision. The major goal of the IOPS is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the supervision of private pension systems throughout the world, thereby enhancing their development and operational efficiency, and allowing for the provision of a secure source of retirement income in as many countries as possible.
Further information and the guidelines and reports mentioned can be found on the Organisation’s website www.iopsweb.org
IOPS President: Ross Jones, Deputy Chairman, Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) email@example.com
Secretary General: Andre Laboul, Head of Financial Affairs Division, OECD Andre.Laboul@oecd.org