NETHERLANDS - Dutch social affairs minister Henk Kamp said his country's new digital Pension Register had proved so popular that a similar tracking service for pension rights should be developed for the whole of the EU.

During a Dutch Pension Federation meeting with Michel Barnier, EU commissioner for Internal Markets and Services, Kamp said the website had been consulted more than 1m times since its introduction on 6 January.

The national Pension Register offers every Dutch citizen an online overview of his or her accrued pension rights at both pension funds and insurers. The website offers access to almost 16m files and includes the state pension AOW.

It had been designed to receive half a million visitors a month.

In a response to questions from Socialist Party MP Paul Ulenbelt, minister Kamp said that only 12 small pension funds, covering just over 4,000 pension claims, had not yet been connected to the register.

He also pointed out that pension providers did not always have the social security numbers, or burgerservicenummer, of all participants, which made it impossible to include their pension claims in the index.

Meanwhile, Pieter Keestra, spokesman for the Pension Register, said the problem of expatriates being unable to access the register was unlikely to be resolved any time soon.

Access to the register requires a digital code (a 'DigiD'), which is only issued to holders of a burgerservicenummer, which in turn is only issued by local councils to their registered residents.

Keestra said: "We depend on the government organisation that manages the DigiD for a solution."