Governance and regulation

This section explains the structure of the RESAVER Pension Fund and how it is regulated.

Stakeholder structure

The following diagram shows the main stakeholders in the RESAVER Pension Fund.

This diagram shows the Stakeholder structure supporting the RESAVER Pension Fund.
  • RESAVER Member Organisations: research organisations that have enrolled individuals (their employees) in the RESAVER Pension Fund.
  • Individuals: the employees of RESAVER Member Organisations that will join or have joined the RESAVER Pension Fund.
  • Regulator (FSMA): the Belgian regulator, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), overseeing the operation of the RESAVER Pension Fund.
  • Compliance Officer: responsible internally for ensuring that the RESAVER Pension Fund complies with the applicable rules and regulations.
  • Internal Auditor: responsible for verifying processes are put in place in line with the internal control procedures.
  • External Auditor: responsible for verifying the accuracy of the financial accounts of the RESAVER Pension Fund.
  • Advisers: advisers are appointed where the RESAVER Pension Fund does not have the in-house expertise, for example, executing the plan, selecting providers. These would typically include a lawyer and an actuary.
  • Administration: the Member Service Centre is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the plan. It collects contribution data, verifies contributions are in line with the rules of the plan, ensures contributions are allocated to the appropriate individuals’ accounts which in turn are allocated to the appropriate investment funds, interacts with asset manager(s) to track individual members’ fund values and requests for changes to asset allocation, ensures benefits are paid in line with the rules of the plan, and communicates with individual members such as providing benefit statements.
  • Asset manager: responsible for investing and monitoring assets.
  • Reinsurance: to cover the risk benefits such as death and disability benefits.

Supervision and regulation

The RESAVER Pension Fund is regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), the Belgium regulator.

Further reading:

The formal fund documents, as approved by the FSMA are available on request. Please use the details on the Contact Us page.

General assembly

They are responsible for:

  • Amending bylaws, sponsor agreements, financing plan, and statement of investment principles.
  • Appointing/removing directors.
  • Appointing/removing external auditors and defining remuneration.
  • Approving new member organisations and removing existing member organisations.
  • Approving annual reports and accounts and discharging of the Board/auditors.
  • Approving collective asset transfers from other pension plans.
  • Dissolving and winding-up the RESAVER Pension Fund if this option is ever needed.

Member responsibilities

Each member organisation must identify one or two people who can act as permanent representatives of their organisation. In other words, two people who are qualified to represent the organisation in line with the applicable legal provisions.

  • Member organisations that are subject to joint management or co-decision procedures with respect to pension issues in line with the applicable social and labour legislation of their country of registered office or collective labour agreement (CLA), are represented by two people – one representing the organisation and one representing the individual employees.
  • Member organisations that are not subject to joint management or co-decision procedures with respect to pension issues are represented by one or two people at the discretion of the organisation.
  • The organisation appoints its representative(s).

Further reading:

Organisations that are members of the RESAVER Consortium can request minutes of the RESAVER Pension Fund General Assembly meetings. Please Contact Us.

Board of Directors

The composition of the operational bodies (other than the Board of Directors itself), including:

  • the conditions that must be satisfied to be appointed;
  • the terms of their dismissal;
  • the termination of office;
  • their possible remuneration; and
  • the period of their assignment and mandates.

The mandate, operational tasks, powers and responsibilities, and rules or procedures that must be followed to prevent and settle any conflicts or disputes about:

  • the magnitude or scope of the allotted operational tasks; and/or
  • common ground with other operational bodies; and/or
  • its operation, reporting and carrying out of the allotted operational tasks.

The procedures of each operational body, including the method of reporting to the Board of Directors.

Organisations that are members of the Consortium can request minutes of the RESAVER Pension Fund Board of Directors meetings. Please Contact Us

Key principles of the EU directive

The RESAVER Pension Fund is a funded employer-sponsored retirement benefit plan, as defined by EU Directive 2003/41/EC, to facilitate the cross-border activity of retirement benefit plans.

The Directive:

  • makes it possible to enrol individual employees from different countries in one pension fund that is located in one country; and
  • is backed up by the EU Commission and several Rulings of the European Court of Justice, which state that it is at least as tax efficient as a local pension scheme.

The RESAVER Pension Fund is the workplace pension arrangement for individuals employed by research organisations in the EEA.

Home country

The RESAVER Pension Fund is located in Belgium.

Belgium has been selected as the Home Country for the following reasons:

  • Legislation is fully in line with EU Pensions Directive;
  • It adopts a principles-based, prudent approach to regulation and supervision;
  • Its regulator is accessible, open-minded and supportive;
  • There are no quantitative investment and financing regulations;
  • It offers a flexible governance framework;
  • It offers zero tax base for the plan and is tax-neutral for individual employees;
  • It has more than 20 years of experience with pension funds;
  • It has experience with cross-border pension funds; and
  • It has a multi-cultural and multi-lingual community in the centre of Europe.

Downloads and further reading:

You can read a summary report setting out why the RESAVER Consortium chose Belgium as the Home Country from the Documents page or Contact Us to request a copy of the full report.

Host countries

The RESAVER Pension Fund aims to minimise differences across countries. However, each country has its own set of local laws that govern retirement benefits and how they should be provided.

RESAVER recognises the need to comply with these requirements so the RESAVER Pension Fund may operate slightly differently between countries.

However, differences are only introduced to ensure that each set of pension rules is compliant with the local laws / local practices. RESAVER aims to make retirement benefits as easy to understand as possible.

The local laws that a member organisation joins depends on:

  • where the pension promise is;
  • where the individual employees are (where they live and pay tax); and
  • tax and social/employment laws.

For example, if you are a Hungarian organisation providing retirement benefits to your employees in Hungary, you would need to be compliant with Hungarian laws.

The RESAVER Pension Fund is set up to support this.

Roll-out plan

It takes time to create each country section and a phased approach is being taken.

The order in which new country sections are created is decided by the RESAVER Consortium and may change if there is a high demand for a particular country section to be created.

  • If you are interested in joining RESAVER but your country section is not yet open, please Contact Us to let us know of your interest.
  • For countries where RESAVER Pension Fund is not operational, RESAVER Insurance may be suitable as an interim solution
  • You can check in which countries RESAVER Pension Fund is operational, and the expected date for countries where it is not, on the Participating Countries page.