Industry associations in the Netherlands say they want premium pension institutions (PPI) to be able to offer personal European pension plans (PEPP).
The Association for Insurers and the PPI Association both voiced their support. PPI are a third alternative to defined contribution pension funds and insurance products, and were approved by the Dutch government in 2011.
The Pensions Federation (Pensioenfederatie) has opposed the suggestion as it would change the existing demarcation of tasks and responsibilities in the Dutch pension industry.
The European Commission (EC) published a proposal last summer for the introduction of PEPP. It has been designed as a third-pillar solution that should encourage people to start saving more themselves as a supplement to state-backed and workplace pensions. The EC’s proposal also stated that second-pillar pension providers would be able to offer a PEPP, with the aim of competing directly with other financial institutions.
The Pensioenfederatie and the Dutch government have warned that this would disrupt the common organisation of the market and jeopardise the justification for mandatory pension scheme participation.
Finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has supported a ban on the implementation of PEPP for mandatory industry-wide schemes, which he put to parliament in December last year. He mentioned the option for the EU member states to have the opportunity to exclude certain funds.
The Association of Insurers and the PPI Association want to prevent all second-pillar pension providers in the Netherlands from being excluded from offering a PEPP. Instead, they have proposed that the ban should not apply to pension providers that do not carry risks related to life expectancy, work disability and death. Both stakeholders also want everyone with a PEPP to have the right to ‘shop around’.
The Pensioenfederatie has opposed the insurance sector’s proposal. The federation deemed it undesirable that the demarcation of tasks and responsibilities within the pensions industry in the Netherlands should change because of European rules.
“The debate regarding which institutions should offer which product should be conducted in Dutch parliament,” a spokesman said. “For this reason we do not support the European PEPP regulation prescribing that a PPI is allowed to offer a PEPP.”
Dutch parliament decided last week to invite Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld for a public debate on the PEPP. She is leading the discussion on the pension product in the European Parliament. In ‘t Veld stated on Twitter that she had accepted this invitation. The meeting in The Hague is scheduled for 6 March.