NETHERLANDS - The €261bn civil service scheme ABP has asked its 2.8m participants for their opinions about the evolution of their pension arrangements.

In an online survey, participants are asked to respond to six questions, including how much investment risk their schemes, should take and how extensive their pension plans should be.

Participants can also indicate whether they prefer a lower contribution and working longer, or earlier retirement against a higher premium.

ABP also wants to know whether participants would want their pension fund to cut pension rights straightaway or gradually when tackling a shortfall.

It also inquires about preferences on information requirements.

New pension arrangements come on the back of the Pensions Agreement hammered out between the social partners of employers and employees and the Dutch government last year.

The most important elements of the deal are an increase of the pensionable age from 65 to 67 and a new pensions contract with conditional pension rights.

ABP stressed that its survey was not meant to serve as a "ballot", but rather aimed to provide the scheme and the social partners with options to build a balanced approach.

The new pension arrangements for workers in the civil service and education will come into force in 2014.

The €118bn healthcare scheme PFZW has also recently consulted its 2.5m participants about the Pensions Agreement.