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Netherlands roundup: Parliament won’t force pensions on self-employed

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Dutch politicians prefer to encourage the approximately 1m self-employed workers in the Netherlands to save for a pension rather than to be subject to mandatory pensions accrual.

A survey by IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro revealed that most parties would like to offer a fiscal stimulus or an opt-out system.

Liberal party VVD and the liberal democrats of D66 – partners in the government coalition – indicated that they opposed mandatory pensions accrual for self-employed people (known as zzp’ers).

Steven van Weyenberg, pensions spokesman for D66, said he hoped that the envisaged individual pensions accrual in a new pensions system would tempt them to keep on saving with the pension fund of their previous employer.

At the other end of the political spectrum, socialist party SP also made clear that it preferred encouraging pensions savings rather than making it mandatory.

“We want sector pension funds [to] offer zzp’ers the option to accrue a pension with them,” said MP Bart van Kent. “If this doesn’t work, we prefer a fiscal stimulus, such as making the current fiscal relief for self-employed workers subject to pension saving.”

Pieter Omtzigt, pensions spokesman for the Christian democrats CDA – also part of the government coalition – said his party shared SP’s view on a fiscal stimulus.

Green-left party GroenLinks indicated it supported mandatory pension saving, albeit only for people in low-paid jobs.

Pension funds object to financial supervision payments 

The Dutch Pensions Federation said it still has serious objections proposed rules for the financing of financial supervision next year.

In a joint response with the associations of insurers (VvV) and banks (NVB), the sector organisation argued that the proposed legislation fell short of democratic checks of costs, and that it also lacked transparency and an incentive to keep costs under control.

During the past couple of years, the government hasn’t contributed to financial supervision, leaving the supervised organisations to foot the bill.

According to the lobby organisations, it was unclear why the government made this exemption, as it still contributed to supervisory costs in other sectors.

They proposed that the government paid for costs that had nothing to do with direct supervision.

Sustainalytics takes over Solaron

ESG consultant Sustainalytics is to take over fellow analysis firm Solaron, increasing its oversight of controversial issues at companies in emerging markets.

Amsterdam-based Sustainalytics said that 26 of Solaron’s 36 analysts, most of whom speak local languages and can follow local news sources, would join.

Sustainalytics provides ESG ratings and analyses to institutional investors. The company employs 350 staff, of whom 50 are based in Amsterdam. It has offices in 13 countries.

It said Solaron staff would largely be deployed in London and Bucharest, adding that Vipul Arora, Solaron’s co-founder, would be employed in a management position in London.

Solaron – a specialist in emerging markets – is headquartered in the United States, but also has offices in India, the Netherlands and London.

Its clients include the €123bn Dutch asset manager MN and Aviva Investors

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