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Dutch regulator identifies 30 more 'vulnerable' pension funds

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Dutch regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has identified another 30 “potentially vulnerable” pension funds, it said.

Speaking at an event organised by IPE sister publication PensioenPro, Liesbeth Goverse, the DNB’s supervisory head of smaller pension funds, said the 30 schemes would be invited for a plenary discussion with the regulator and be asked have to submit an analysis on their future.

Depending on the outcome, additional discussions with individual pension funds will follow, she said.

According to Goverse, the non-reinsured schemes in the group have already been invited for a round-table discussion at the end of March.

She added that the 13 industry-wide schemes on the new list, as well as the company pension funds with a guaranteed pension, would follow soon.

Last year, the supervisor produced a list of 60 vulnerable schemes, based on financial, organisational and governance criteria.

Since then, 30 of those pension funds have been wound up, while four managed to tackle their problems and have subsequently been removed from the DNB’s list, Goverse said.

She said she expected the number and scale of industry-wide schemes that would be liquidated to increase.

In 2007, the combined value transfer of pension assets was €2bn. That amount increased to €9bn in 2014, when the number of schemes that liquidated was actually lower, according to the supervisory head.

Goverse added that the current pace of 30-40 liquidations a year was likely to continue.

She suggested that the requirements of the new financial assessment framework (FTK), the new legislation for pensions communication and the new pensions vehicle APF might also encourage pension funds to wind up.

Goverse said even pension funds that were not on the DNB’s initial list had volunteered to take part in the first full discussions, and that all schemes that considered liquidation would be welcome to join the scheduled sessions.

At the moment, there are approximately 360 pension funds remaining in the Netherlands.

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