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Dutch Pensions Federation sets sights on indirect cost of regulation

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The Dutch Pensions Federation is to conduct a survey into the costs incurred by pension funds participating in studies at the request of regulators De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Financial Markets Authority (AFM). 

In its policy plan for 2016, the industry group lamented the increasing number of requests for pension fund co-operation in surveys initiated by regulators.

“Because this co-operation is very time and labour-intensive, the indirect costs of supervision for the sector are rising,” the Federation said.

It said the direct cost of regulation had already increased by 30% in 2015 as a result of the government’s decision to stop subsidising supervision.

The Pensions Federation said it wanted to discuss the future findings of its survey with both regulators to drive down the indirect costs of supervision.

Another priority for 2016 will be to explore ways of improving communication with pension fund participants, as well as survey participants on the kind of collectivity and risk-sharing they would like in a new pensions system.

It said it would also look into options for “fiscal simplification”, including an assessment of the current liability to VAT.

Last year, the Pensions Federation said it would use the European Court of Justice’s ruling on VAT exemption for defined contribution pension funds to fight for similar rights for industry-wide schemes.

It said it would also continue to push for the ability of mandatory sector schemes to join the APF general pension fund.

The new vehicle is expected to come into force early next year.

The industry group said it expected increased co-operation on the review of the IORP II Directive with fellow federations in Europe, after the Netherlands took over the chairmanship of the European Council over the first six months of 2016.

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