European Union member states must promote “collective” pension savings vehicles, the European Commission has urged.Releasing its annual growth survey, the European executive also praised efforts by a number of countries in reforming their first-pillar pension systems, arguing that a majority of member states had amended systems to “better withstand” the impact of increased longevity.It noted, however, that the reforms could result in further “challenges” and insisted that, to ensure the success and continued support of state pension reforms, steps needed to be taken to maintain retirement income levels, extend working lives or provide other sources of income through “complementary” pension savings vehicles.“Member states,” the report continues, “need to support the development of collective and individual pension plans to complement public pension schemes, including by removing obstacles at European level.” Social partners, it says, also have an important role to play, depending on the circumstances.The reference to collective and individual pension plans is likely to be an attempt to present both second and third-pillar pension saving as viable ways of increasing income on retirement.Olivier Guersent, the most senior civil servant within the Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union directorate general, recently suggested the pan-European pension product developed by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) could play an important role in developing pension saving where occupational systems were not in place.At the same event, EIOPA chairman Gabriel Bernardino suggested there was space for a pan-European occupational defined contribution system.The Commission’s report comes only a few months after social affairs commissioner Marianne Thyssen argued in favour of greater supplementary savings, while acknowledging the “limited” ability of many households to contribute to such systems.
Olawale Ajimotokan in AbujaThe Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports suffered an ignominious seizure of its assets wednesday when three companies bundled away some of the properties belonging to it over a debt valued at just N9.9 million.For failing to pay up the debt, the companies shocked officials, when they impounded three buses, a Hilux truck and two Mikano generators from its premises. The companies were, Zeminex Nig. Ltd, Micnovos Nig. Ltd and B.N. Donagel Ltd.They were executing an order granted them in 2010 by an FCT High Court, in respect of the debt owed them by the ministry.Though the debt was not in contention, the seized assets were comparatively above the liability.Nwude I. Emmanuel, the principal partner of Ifeanyi Nwude & Associates law firm, led the companies and court bailiff in enforcing the court order yesterday afternoon.â€œWe are obeying the judgment of the court following the failure of the Ministry of Sports to pay the debt owed our clients since 2010. The total liability is N9.9 million, but the matter can be resolved if the ministry begins to make payment of the debt, even on instalment basis,” Nwude clarify.THISDAY learnt that the case was heard on May 12, 2016 and judgment given on March 6, 2017.Although sources in the ministry claimed that the matter was referred to the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, no efforts were made to respect the court order before the bailiffs stormed the ministry t5o cart away the assets wednesday.No official of the ministry was willing to make any official statement on the matter when THISDAY sought the reaction of some directors.â€œWhat do you want me to tell you? You witnessed what happened here now. Go to the ministerâ€™s office to find out why the debts were not paid despite the court judgment before this embarrassment,â€ retorted an angry official of the ministry to our reporter wednesday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram