NETHERLANDS - The Authority Financial Markets (AFM) has extended the deadline by which the Uniform Pension Statement must be send out by pension funds and insurers.

The AFM - acting as the financial communications watchdog- has now confirmed funds and companies have until 30 September to issue statements known as UPOs, it has announced.

A spokeswoman for the AMF said the change follows a consultation during which the pensions sector argued the original June 30 deadline, as proposed by the AFM, was not feasible for providers to meet.

The new Pension Act requires pension funds and insures to provide "factually correct, timely and accessible information" about their pension plans to all participants as of 1 January 2008.

In the AFM's opinion, ‘timely' means as soon as possible but now means no later than 30 September.

Providers who fail to send out a UPO before the deadline may incur some kind of ‘sanction', depending on the cause of the delay, the regulator said.

Sending out UPOs had not been bound by a strict deadline until now, and some providers had even managed to issue the statements in the first quarter of this year.

Harman Korte, chief supervisor of the behaviour of pension providers, noted in November 2008 that insurers, in particular, seemed to have problems with the timely processing of UPOs.

That said, insurers now reckon they will be able to meet the new deadline this year, according to a spokesman of VvV, the insurance industry's lobbying organisation.

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