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29 November 2016

Investment & Pensions Europe: Tobin tax would hurt Belgian cross-border IORP appeal – PensioPlus

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PensioPlus, the Belgian pension fund association, has warned the country’s government against implementing a financial transactions tax (FTT), saying it would undermine its efforts to make the country a prime location for cross-border pension funds.

Other financial services industry bodies have also been warning the Belgian finance minister against supporting the introduction of an FTT – or ‘Tobin’ tax, as it is also known.

A draft of a directive on an EU FTT, which would apply to 10 of the EU’s member states, is being keenly anticipated by industry bodies in the 10 member states negotiating on this, of which Belgium is one.

A statement from the Belgian insurance industry association, Assuralia, suggests it is anticipating a decision from the Belgian finance minister this week.

A spokesperson for the minister, Johan Van Overtveldt, said the government had not yet received the text from the European Commission and would only come up with the timing of a decision after seeing the proposal.

PensioPlus said applying an FTT would have a “devastating” impact on Belgian pension funds and a net loss for pension fund members.

The “inevitable consequence”, according to a statement from the association, would be that Belgium would lose all “power of attraction” as a destination for cross-border pension funds.

Furthermore, it said, those cross-border pension funds already established in Belgium would be prompted to leave, seeing as neither the Netherlands nor Luxembourg are going to apply the tax.

Agreeing to an FTT could mean Belgium loses its “prime location status” for pan-European pension funds, said PensioPlus.

Press release

© IPE International Publishers Ltd.

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