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Klijnsma: No reprieve for Dutch pension funds on discount rate

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Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for social affairs in the Netherlands, has warned Dutch pension funds that their deteriorating financial position does not yet justify changing the rules.

In a recent consultation with Parliament, she suggested the government could change its mind at a scheduled assessment of the situation in May, but she categorically ruled out any adjustment of the discount rate for liabilities.

Klijnsma said she wanted to assess pension funds’ position on a quarterly basis, using figures from pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

While she conceded that the outlook for this year and 2017 was “not rosy”, she said it was not yet serious enough for immediate measures.

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She pointed out that beleaguered pension funds, thanks to the new financial assessment framework (nFTK), were not required to apply rights cuts straightaway. 

During the meeting with Parliament, Klijnsma said she expected the outcome of a survey into individual pensions accrual combined with collective risk sharing – currently being conducted by the Social and Economic Council (SER) – could be presented in March.

She also announced that she would start talks with the Pensions Register to factor in a longevity-dependent age for the state pension AOW into its overview of pension rights.

The register currently draws its prediction for combined pension rights from a retirement age of no more than 67. 

However, the social security bank (SVB) – responsible for the payout of AOW benefits – already takes a retirement age into account of 69 years and nine months for somebody born in 1975.

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