Most pension funds’ boards pay insufficient attention to potential conflicts of interest of policy makers, pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has suggested.
It indicated it was not satisfied with the outcome of a sector-wide survey, during which it checked whether schemes had conducted a risk analysis or had formulated a policy on conflicts of interest.
DNB concluded that a large number of pension funds had not conducted an analysis, and had at best a policy that was not based on such a risk assessment.
Additionally, it found that many schemes did not declare and register the main functions and jobs on the site of board members and other decision makers, and did not have a view on their private interests either.
However, almost all pension funds had rules in place for how to deal with gifts, according to DNB.
In its opinion, merely a handful of pension funds fully managed the risks posed by conflicts of interest.
The watchdog commented that conflicts of interest could lead to “impure decision-making, which could harm pension funds”. Therefore, trustees must actively fight conflicts of interest, it said.
DNB added that, during discussions with trustees, it had noted that the subject is charged, and that the sector needed clear examples as to what constituted a conflict of interest.
As a consequence, the supervisor announced that it would draw up a number of good practices.