The Government has published the Occupational Pension Schemes (EEA States) Regulations 2007 which amend various pieces of pension legislation to accommodate the recent extension of the EU Pensions (or “IORP”) Directive to the wider European Economic Area (EEA). As a result, UK-based schemes will be able to accept sponsorship from employers based in an EEA State (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) as well as from employers based within another EU member state. The regulations will come into force on 26 November 2007. The Government undertook a consultation on a draft of these regulations over the summer, and it has now published its response to that consultation. A copy is available from  www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/dwp/2007/govtresponseeea-regs.pdf.

In addition, the Government is consulting on the success of the 2005 Cross-border Regulations in implementing the cross-border provisions of the IORP Directive within the UK. The European Commission plan to carry out a review of the IORP Directive in early 2008, and the Government wants to be able to compare the Commission’s findings with the UK’s own experience of how well the cross-border provisions are working. The consultation paper seeks views on issues such as how well the approval and authorisation process is working in practice, what extra costs are involved for a scheme which operates cross-border and whether schemes have extended retirement provision in Europe as a result. The consultation closes on 4 December 2007, and a copy of the consultation paper is available at  www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2007/OccupationalPensions-Cross-Border-final-review.pdf.