Article 89(2) of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) provides that before taking its decision related to the pension scheme exemption from the clearing obligation, the relevant competent authority needs to obtain the opinion of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) (which must also consult the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority).

ESMA has now published a set of opinions regarding the exemption of 16 UK pension schemes from the obligation to centrally clear over-the-counter derivative contracts under EMIR. ESMA is of the opinion that the reasons why an exemption is justified are established. Upon receipt of ESMA’s opinion, the FCA, as the UK competent authority, has 10 working days to adopt and communicate its decision to the pension scheme arrangements and to ESMA. After the exemptions are granted by the FCA, ESMA will publish the list of the types of entities / arrangements that have been exempted.

View ESMA issues opinions on UK pension schemes to be exempt from central clearing under EMIR, 2 February 2016