On June 30, 2016, ESMA published an Opinion, dated June 23, 2016, on a Denmark-based pension scheme that is to be exempted from the clearing obligation under EMIR. The Opinion was requested by Finanstilsynet (the Danish financial supervisory authority) and relates to life insurer personal schemes. ESMA published a positive opinion for three other types of Danish pension schemes in April this year: life insurer occupational schemes, labor market-related life insurer and multiemployer pension fund. Transitional exemptions from the clearing obligation under EMIR can be granted to pension scheme arrangements that meet certain criteria, essentially, when OTC derivatives contracts are entered into and are used for hedging purposes. To obtain an exemption, requests must be made by the pension scheme to a national regulator. Under EMIR, the national regulator must then seek an Opinion from ESMA before making a final exemption decision. This follows the extension of the transitional exemption period from the clearing obligation for pension funds to August 16, 2017, which is the revised date by which pension funds must comply with the EU clearing obligation under EMIR.

ESMA's Opinion is available at: https://www.esma.europa.eu/press-news/esma-news/esma-issues-opinions-danish-pensionscheme-be-exempt-central-clearing-under