NETHERLANDS - Dutch social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner is looking to increase pensioners' input into directly insured pension arrangements as part of a wider governance review.

Donner said he would discuss the issue with the Association of Insurers, the employer organisation VNO-NCW and CSO, the lobbying body of organisations for the elderly.

At present, Dutch pensioners have a right of say on the way pension arrangements are implemented, as well as on decisions in prioritising rights cuts and indexation.

Pensioners can affect their employers' decision about a given pension contract by using a pensioners association, but only if the company has more than 250 employees, and the lobbying body represents at least 10% of the workforce.

According to the Pension Act, in the decision process, an employer must "consider" the pensioner organisation's opinion, although it does not have a sanctions option.

However, a review commissioned by Donner and conducted by management consultant Bureau Bartels has shown that a right of say is applicable for less than 10% of the existing 46,000 directly insured pension arrangements.

According to the reviewers, the minimum size requirement for companies and the minimum representation requirement for pensioner associations have curbed pensioner input.

They also attributed the relatively low number of pensioner associations to pensioners' ignorance of pension issues, the perceived limited added value of a right of say and the difficulty of starting a society that meets all the legal requirements.