Better Finance fires back at pension lobby allegations of wrong report conclusions

On the 11/20/20 at 12:29PM


Adrien Paredes-Vanheule


The feud that started early November between EU pension fund body PensionsEurope and EU retail investor federation Better Finance spread further on Friday. Better Finance responded to the allegations of PensionsEurope and the Bulgarian association of supplementary pension security companies (BASPSC) about its conclusions over Bulgarian pension funds’ returns.

In a recent report on the real return of long-term and pension savings, Better Finance had argued that private pensions failed in Bulgaria and recommended contributions to be reversed to the state pension fund. These conclusions were deemed “wrong” and “incorrect” by PensionsEurope and BASPSC early November, flagging up mistakes in calculations and open-speculative statements.

In response, Better Finance said neither the author of the Bulgarian country case nor itself “manipulate figures and statements.” It added “PensionsEurope, on the contrary, did just that in its 5 November press release. It disclosed different figures in their press release published two days after the BASPSC member had already publicly validated Better Finance’s results.”

The EU retail investor federation thus stressed that while a public document from PensionsEurope’s Bulgarian affiliate validates its findings, PensionsEurope produced “entirely different and far higher Bulgarian returns” in its press release. Moreover, ot suggested that the figures used by PensionsEurope came from undisclosed, non-public data in contrast to Better Finance’s report which was filled with publicly available information only.

“Better Finance enjoys a constructive and positive dialogue with the other financial industry organisations. This slanderous press release from the pension industry lobby is all the more unfortunate as it comes more than a month after the release of the report without any attempt at dialogue or prior interaction with the European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users.  This is not the first time this lobby makes accusations against Better Finance. Those were also repudiated by Better Finance back then,” the NGO stated.

It recalled that it has “repeatedly asked for help” from, and cooperation with, the pensions industry lobby to enhance the transparency on long-term real returns for European pension savers. “It is disappointing to see that, instead of constructive cooperation, unwarranted criticism is the only response that the representatives of European pension savers have received so far,” said Better Finance, regretting that PensionsEurope’s offer to help never materialised.