NETHERLANDS- Pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank intends to focus its supervision this year on the effect that behaviour and culture has on the integrity of pensions funds and insurers.

The watchdog has already begun investigating whether the extent of pension funds' financial buffers have any connection with a scheme's risk profile.

The pensions supervisor will also check the progress pension funds have made in meeting their recovery plan targets submitted last year, and will judge whether additional measures are still needed.

DNB also said it will probe, to analyse consistency, the promises made by 20 pension funds and the pension schemes' financial set-up in relation to indexation policy.

The pension regulator said it will carry out 10 specific surveys into investment management and the valuation of complex products, adding that it will support good practice initiatives from the pensions sector.

DNB also indicated that it will judge the application of governance principles at pension funds, as well as the process of decision-making by internal supervisors.

Under the project name Quinto, the regulator will also look into the pensions administration of insurers and focus on individual pension claims of participants.

At the same time, DNB will pay extra attention to insurers' preparations for complying with EU rules on Solvency II, which are due to come into force on 31 October 2012.

The regulator said it expects insurers to carry out a self-assessment to identify potential bottlenecks in processing.

Insurers are therefore required to draw up "a realistic implementation plan" to plug any gaps by the October deadline, the DNB said.