NETHERLANDS - De Nederlandse Bank (DNB), the Dutch central bank and pensions regulator, has confirmed it is contributing to Dutch efforts to limit the impact proposed changes to the international accounting standards rules could have on the Dutch pension system.
David van As, who heads the supervision of large pension funds at the regulator, said in an interview with the Dutch organisation for corporate pension funds (OPF): "In the international forums, the legal and financial independent position of the Dutch pension fund needs to be highlighted and its special status recognised in the accounting rules."
He added: "A lot of hard work, also from the DNB, is going into this."
Even though the DNB does not have a formal supervisory role in terms of the IAS19 accounting rules, the organisation fears the international discussions about the standards in terms of pension "will potentially affect our pension system," said Van As.
A spokesman for the DNB told IPE today the DNB wants to hightlight the Dutch pension fund system is different from many other European countries because pension schemes are more independent from corporations than elsewhere and the regulator is keen to spread awareness of this fact.
"The proposals touch on that and could therefore impact in The Netherlands," he said.
"As a knowledge institute, we can only spread knowledge concerning the achievements of our pension system, and this is what we try to do, to ensure that there is knowledge abroad of our specific situation," he concluded.
Earlier this year, Dutch minister of social affairs Piet Hein Donner said he would lobby internationally to get essential components of the Dutch national pensions accounting system acknowledged in the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
He wrote in a letter replying to questions from a group of Dutch MPs, led by Christian Democrat MP Pieter Omtzigt, stating he would be prepared to launch a joint approach with like-minded EU countries, such as the UK and Ireland. (See earlier IPE article: ‘Dutch government to lobby against IASB proposals')
In particular, the Dutch government is seeking the ability to continue to use the 'corridor approach' - a key component of Dutch pensions accounting - which the IASB has suggested should be withdrawn.
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