Dutch pension funds find the questions surrounding the introduction of European monetary union a complicated issue, Jos van Niekerk told the EFRP conference, when making the presentation of the English translation of the 'Euro Scenario' manual, prepared by the Dutch Euro Project Group of Pensions Funds.

The group, which comprised representatives from the Dutch company and industry-wide pension fund associations, started work over a year ago identifying the problems for funds in the transition to the euro.

Van Niekerk, who chairs the project group, said the manual was designed as a guide for individual pension schemes and their managers, who have to start making practical arrangements for the changes. The scenario was prepared on the basis that the euro will go ahead on time: that the Dutch and, I hope, many other countries, will join the monetary union right from the start."

He stressed that the scenario was not a ready-made solution, as pension funds differed from each other too much for that: "Each fund will have to consider its own specific bottlenecks."

The scenario recommends that each fund has a detailed plan, which includes oganisational steps required such as appointing someone to be responsible for the euro changes project. In a section on costs, the manual warns that the arrival of the new currency will entail considerable costs for funds, both those arising within the fund and those passed on from outside. A 'brief checklist' of 12 headings of costs are identified and pension funds should anticipate these and make provision.

Copies of the English translation are available free of charge from: OPF, PO Box 93158, 2509 AD The Hague, Netherlands. Fax: + 31 70 3490188"