The OECD/IOPS MENA Workshop on private pension regulation and supervision was held in Cairo, Egypt on 2-3 February 2009. This workshop was hosted by the Egyptian Insurance Supervisory Authority.
The growing importance of pension funds both in financial terms and with regard to their role in the provision of retirement income is calling upon the government agencies to strengthen supervisory framework and enhance efficiency of surveillance over the retirement fund sector. A wide range of policy changes and initiatives are being currently explored and implemented by the public authorities to improve the organisational structure of supervisory authorities and the techniques and procedures used in the supervisory process.
The workshop focused on a selected number of issues relative to pension supervision and regulation which are subject of intense policy debate at the moment in the majority of the countries around the world and in particular in the MENA region. Special attention during the workshop was placed on development of risk based approach to pension supervision which is being adopted by the increasing number of pension supervisory authorities, following the lead of banking and insurance sectors. Another important topic addressed at the workshop was regulatory and industry initiatives aimed to enhance pension fund governance, placing emphasis on the role of supervisory authority in monitoring the administration of pension funds. The discussion also focused on the innovative strategies being adopted by the supervisory authorities to respond to the changes in pension scheme design characterised by the shift from define benefit (DB) to define contribution (DC) arrangements. Finally, a session was dedicated to financial education and pensions.
The Workshop presented a unique opportunity for the government officials from regulatory and supervisory authorities from the Middle-East and Northern African region to discuss and exchange views on the policy priorities and key issues related to supervisory practices and standards with their counterparts from OECD/IOPS Member countries.
Presentations of the speakers
Introduction to IOPS Principles, Mr. Ross Jones, President of IOPS, APRA
Introduction to OECD Principles and guidelines for private pensions, Mr. André Laboul, Head of OECD Financial Affairs Division
Session I: How to apply risk-based supervision to private pension funds
Egyptian approach to private pension supervision, Dr. Ali El-Ashry, Deputy Chairman, EISA
Overview of pension systems in the MENA region, Dr. Ibrahim Muhanna, Muhanna Foundation
IOPS work on risk-based supervision for pension funds, Mr. Ross Jones, President of IOPS, APRA
DNB's risk-based supervision model, Dr. Paul Cavelaars, De Nederlandsche Bank
Session II: Supervisory oversight and pension fund governance
OECD work on pension fund governance, Ms. Fiona Stewart, OECD/IOPS Secretariat
UK experience of pension fund governance, Mr. Alistair Elliott, The Pensions Regulator, United Kingdom
South African experience of pension fund governance, Mr. Leslie Primo, Financial Services Board, South Africa
Session III: Supervising the move from defined benefit to defined contribution
Supervising DC funds in Australia, Mr. Ross Jones, President of IOPS, APRA
Supervising DC funds in UK, Mr. Alistair Elliott, The Pensions Regulator, United Kingdom
Supervising DC funds in Turkey, Ms. Hicran Aktas Cosar, Pension Monitoring Center, Turkey
Session IV: Financial Education and pensions
OECD project on financial education, Ms. Flore-Anne Messy, OECD