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Confusion reigns over make-up of Dutch pension assets

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Klaas Knot, president at Dutch regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), has claimed that combined pension assets in the Netherlands currently amounts to nearly €1.3trn, yet no government authority seems to able to specify exactly how this amount is divided across pension funds, insurers and banks.

According to the DNB, Dutch pension funds’ combined assets amounted to €996bn at the end of the second quarter.

But the regulator told IPE sister publication IP Nederland that it could not produce concrete figures on the combined pension assets with insurers or banks in tax-friendly saving arrangements for pension accrual.

Roald Jongejan of the Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) told IP Nederland: “The combined pension claims are woven into the overall figures of insurers. So far, we haven’t been able to draw these figures out.”

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Paul Koopman, spokesman for the Association of Insurers (VvV), confirmed that the scale of pension liabilities at insurers was currently unknown.

However, he added that insurers estimated that they serviced about 20% of the pensions market.

A spokesman for the Dutch Association of Banks (NVB) confirmed that the organisation did not collect figures on tax-friendly saving for pensions.

He recommended approaching all the NVB’s 82 members individually for the relevant figures.

According to a DNB spokesman, the figure cited by Knot in September was merely a rough estimate “from an internal model”, including “more than just pension assets and based on the National Accounts” – the official statistics for the national economy.

However, Knot produced similar figures more recently. During a speech at the Dutch embassy in Washington DC, he said the combined pension assets of Dutch households were 212% of GDP in 2012, which amounts to almost €1.3trn.

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