Private Pensions and EU Internal Market Law: Enhancing Retirement Provision through Harmonisation

Graham Butler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Pensions, pension policy, and retirement provision has been historically associated with Member States alone. However, this is not so any longer. For years, occupational pension schemes have been brought within the scope of the internal market of the European Union. Extensive judgments from the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as harmonised legislation from the EU legislature have followed to improve the marketplace for work-related pensions. Today, the market freedoms are now being furthered to cover not just occupational pension schemes, but also, the private pension market. In light of such developments at EU level, including the development of pan-European Personal Pension (PEPP) products, what is evident is a significant shift in the establishment of an EU-wide private pension market, mirroring developments in the United States in what are known as ‘individual retirement accounts’ (IRAs). In light of these EU advances emanating from free movement case law and the PEPP Regulation, with effects for both individual Europeans as future retirees, and financial services undertakings as pension product providers; this article analyses the complementary aspects of both positive and negative integration in the private pension market. The article elaborately demonstrates the significant effect of legal progress, through slow-moving developments, that are collectively contributing to closing the deficit in the retirement provision of Europe’s retirees of the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Business Law Review
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)853-876
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Private Pensions and EU Internal Market Law: Enhancing Retirement Provision through Harmonisation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this