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Pension savers have much to gain from capital markets union, says NAPF

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The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has confirmed its strong support for the European Commission’s proposals for a Capital Markets Union (CMU), in its response to the EC Green Paper: Building a Capital Markets Union.

James Walsh, Policy Lead for EU and International, NAPF, says: “The NAPF is fully supportive of the EC’s vision of a Capital Markets Union and believes pension funds, and their members, have much to gain from a CMU that makes it easier to invest for the long-term and across national borders.

“It’s essential, however, that the EU recognises the key role pension funds play as major institutional investors. If the CMU project is to succeed it is vital that the investment opportunities provided by governments or the EC offer the kind of risks and returns pension funds need to meet their liabilities to pay pensions. Policies must be looked at through the lens of pension funds.

“Policy-makers must also ensure that all aspects of EU policy are aligned with the Capital Markets Union. The NAPF is concerned that the ‘Holistic Balance Sheet’, currently being developed by EIOPA, would force pension funds to move even further into low-risk short-term asset classes such as government bonds – at the expense of investment in equities and other long-term growth-generating assets.”

Mike Weston, Chief Executive, Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP), says: “Pension funds are looking for long-term index-linked returns which are most easily secured in a stable investment environment.

“Policy makers at both a national and EU level should look to ensure a stable regulatory and fiscal framework to encourage infrastructure investment. This would include providing a clear pipeline of future infrastructure investment opportunities, to give pension funds the confidence to build due diligence resources and to ensure the necessary funds are available when investment is sought.”

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