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Dutch MPs want longer pension recovery period

NETHERLANDS - Pension funds must get more time to erase deficits in order to prevent higher premiums during bad times, say a majority of the Dutch parliament during interim budget discussions.

The Christian Democrats, the largest coalition partner, have proposed allowing schemes five-year period for rebuilding their reserves, in case their coverage ratio falls below 105%.

The main opposition party, the labour party PvdA, agrees with a longer period, although one of less than five years, said the daily Het Financieele Dagblad.

The new financial assessment framework, or FTK, calls for pension funds raising their funding ratio to 105% within a year. The CDA wants to make this less prone to economic conditions.

The paper quoted a spokesman of coalition partner the Liberals as saying they were not yet convinced of the need for a longer recovery period.

The Dutch parliament will be debating the new Pension Bill, of which the FTK is a part, later this year. Finance minister Gerrit Zalm will respond on Thursday to the recent proposals.

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