European Insurance and Pensions Authority - EIOPA

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The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) is the competent supervisory body of the financial system of the European Union regarding retirement pensions and insurance.

It is the body of the European Union in charge of guaranteeing the protection of the parties involved in the insurance contract (policyholder, insured and beneficiary) and in pension plans (participants). EIOPA was created in 2010 by EU Regulation 1094/2010 and replaces the Committee of European Insurance and Pension Plan Supervisors (CEIOPS).

First of all, in order to properly understand the functioning of the European Insurance and Pensions Authority, we must bear in mind the organizational framework of which it is a part, which is the European System of Financial Supervision. This was designed in 2010 and consists of four independent supervisory bodies:

  • European Banking Authority (EBA: European Banking Authority).
  • European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA: European Securities and Markets Authority).
  • European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB: European Systemic Risk Board).
  • European Insurance and Pensions Authority (EIOPA: European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority).

Therefore, we can see in the scheme that the EIOPA's powers would include: On the one hand, the protection of insurance policy holders and participants in pension plans. On the other hand, the consolidation of a stable financial system and the supervision of the transparency of the insurance system and pension plans.

In addition, its scope of action extends to the insurance and pension market in a broad sense. That is, from the performance of the promoters of pension plans and insurance companies to the operation of the intermediary companies.

Main functions of the EIOPA

  1. Promote the transparency of the insurance and pension market: Through the development of rules, guidelines and recommendations in relation to the uniform application of European Union law.
  2. Detect, evaluate and eliminate the different risks that can affect the policyholders, beneficiaries and participants of insurance and pension plans.
  3. Strengthen international coordination between the competent supervisory bodies of the Member States: Also, promote collaboration between European and national supervisory authorities.
  4. Resolve infringements of European regulations: In addition to issuing recommendations urging compliance with EU law, the EIOPA can also adopt decisions that prevail over the national authority of the member state in the event of non-compliance.

Structure of EIOPA

The European Insurance and Pensions Authority has the following organizational structure:

Board of Supervisors

  • One representative for each of the supervisory bodies of the Member States. In Spain, a representative of the General Directorate of Insurance and Pension Funds.
  • Director of the EIOPA.
  • Observers from the European Commission, European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

Board of directors

  • EIOPA President
  • Six elected members of the Board of Supervisors.
  • Representative of the European Commission.
  • EIOPA President
  • EIOPA Executive Director

Resources Commission (joint for ESMA, EBA, EIOPA and ESRB)

  • Independent experts.

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