Friday, 22 June 2012

Solvency II - 7 year transitional periods, white noise and Omnibus II on the move

A particularly weird week for Solvency II, with more aimless racket than a drunken tennis player, yet only a slither of substance to it.

Ignoring if I may the robust line being taken by the UK Pensions Minister about occupational pension schemes falling under Solvency II and the Daily Mail's scare piece on annuities becoming potentially more expensive, the big story has of course been Burkhard Balz's alternative for life insurers (presumably on the trialogue table for longer than the last couple of days, but leaked this week to FT Deutschland for the scoop) to transition in the more onerous capital aspects of Solvency II over as many as 7 years.

Bearing in mind the rather blase attitude at the time towards extending the Omnibus II plenary vote to September ('all they are doing over the summer is technical drafting' was the party line), to have something so significant being kicked around the table at this late stage is a truly grim prospect, particularly if it is loaded with national, rather than pan-european considerations.

Of course, conjecture around knock on effects on the legislative timetable is only as good as its source - hence I have linked through to the Omnibus II procedure file, which has been updated to reflect a late October plenary vote (when it was previously Sept 2012, July 2012, April 2012, Jan 2012 and Dec 2011!).

I'll leave it to the experts to work out whether 2014 is realistic given the trialogue curveballs and the phantom plenary...

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