The merging process of two key authorities – the Insurance Companies Control Service which is under the Ministry of Finance and the Registrar of Occupational Retirement Benefit Funds of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance – has almost reached conclusion.
This decision was taken by the Council of Ministers back in September 2016, but technocratic procedures were substantially delayed since this reform basically provides for the establishment of a new supervisory authority to undertake the work of the existing two.
In recent months, the legislative framework governing the two Authorities has been thoroughly studied, and developments have now reached the point where consultation with those affected must take place. Because the draft bill should be pushed forward with the blessing of as many stakeholders as possible. It is almost certain that a fresh review of the bill will be necessary after the public dialogue since amendments are anticipated.
The attempted reform affects many sectors of the economy and of business, both from the point of view of insurance companies and of provident funds.
The structure of the new service will resemble that of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, while staff from the two existing authorities will be transferred to the new entity. This reform is deemed necessary since issues of insurance companies and provident funds are jointly handled by the relevant supervisory authorities at European level.
This provision was included in the country’s last bailout memoranda, but it was not an obligation. On the contrary, it was an addition initiated by Cypriot authorities, according to informed sources.
Although it does not seem to be correlated, notable is the fact that the competent officer for provident funds Theofanis Tryfonos but also Superintendent of Insurance Victoria Natar are leaving their posts these days. Tryfonos has undertaken the permanent secretary’s position at the Deputy Ministry for Tourism, and Natar is retiring from the public service.