OECD Unveils Pension Plan Guidelines

By Agence France-Presse The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) unveiled guidelines July 22 agreed to by its member countries aimed at better safeguarding employees' pensions, primarily through better regulation and management. "More efficient regulation and management of company pension schemes are needed if today's employees are to enjoy adequate retirement pensions tomorrow," the Paris-based OECD said in a statement. Laying out principles to make the pension industry more solid, the OECD recommended that companies strive to hold assets greater than their liabilities. It also said that companies should set up separate legal structures to house their pension funds so employees' pensions are not affected if the company goes bankrupt. In the wake of several high-profile cases in recent years, the OECD also discouraged companies from holding their own shares in the company in the pension portfolio. Employees also should be allowed to bring previous pension contributions to a new company when they change jobs, the OECD said. It also called for greater transparency and choice in pension schemes. The OECD members are among the 30 richest developed countries, many of which are expected to see their pension plans become increasingly burdened as their populations age. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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