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Dutch government satisfied with changes to revised IORP II proposals

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The latest draft of the IORP II Directive now “fits closely” with the Dutch pensions system after the European Commission made a number of “important concessions”, according to Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs. 

In a letter to Parliament, Klijnsma said Brussels had shown “much understanding” on the concerns – shared by both Parliament and the Dutch Cabinet – over the initial proposals.

She said the European Commission’s changes satisfied motions adopted by the Parliament, which called on the government to get Brussels to align the IORP Directive with the Dutch pensions system.

Parliament argued that the initial proposals contained too many and too detailed rules on governance, remuneration policy and risk evaluation.

But the state secretary said its objections had been properly addressed by placing the competence for setting additional rules on these subjects with EU member states.

According to Klijnsma, the Commission has also sufficiently backtracked on its plan to grant itself and the European supervisor a number of executive competences.

She said the proposed rules on pensions communication also now matched the current draft legislation in the Netherlands.

Klijnsma pointed out that, in the new draft of the IORP update, local supervisors are able to issue an exemption from the mandatory appointment of a custodian, if pension assets are already protected in another way.

She said she was also pleased with a more explicit clause on the responsibilities of local supervisors.

Separately, Klijnsma reiterated her opposition to pension funds adopting the ultimate forward rate (UFR) for insurers without taking other elements of Solvency II into account.

In a letter, and answering questions from the Senate about the financial assessment framework (FTK) bill, she stressed that the new rules would not affect ownership rights of pensions, and said the proposals were not at odds with European legislation.

The Senate – pending full answers from the state secretary – has decided to postpone the reading of the bill, which was scheduled for next Monday.

If the Senate rejects the concept legislation in December, the planned introduction of the FTK on 1 January 2015 would run into problems.

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