The Dutch Pensions Federation is to actively seek the media’s attention to improve the sector’s image among the general public.

In its 2015 annual report, it said its specially designed media plan would help restore pension-fund participants’ confidence and garner support for a collective pensions system.

The industry group said it wanted to focus initially on a new pensions system and responsible investment.

Bram van Els, a spokesman for the federation, said: “New themes still must be determined and will partly depend on topical matters.

“I could imagine we would also underline the issue of rights cuts, if pension funds’ current financial position fails to improve soon.”

According to Van Els, the federation wants to account for schemes’ activities and clear up misunderstandings that have contributed to insufficient confidence in the sector.

“We recognise people are disappointed because of modest results, as they had always believed their future pensions were safe,” he said. 

“They need, however, to get used to the fact their pensions are not guaranteed.”

Van Els said the industry group wanted to convey its message in particular through large national newspapers and television.

“Social media such as Twitter are less suited, as the subjects are often too complicated for a brief explanation,” he said.

In its annual report, the federation also made clear that it expected to have completed an update of the uniform pensions statement (UPO) no later than August.

The new statement will be more concise and include information that is comparable and capable of being added to UPOs issued by previous employers.

The application of icons used in the ‘Pensions 1-2-3’ – a layered account of companies’ specific pension arrangements – is meant to improve the clarity of the new UPO.

The new statement, which shows accrued rights for old age, surviving relatives and work-disability pensions, must be used as of 1 January 2017.

The new UPO, however, is no longer required to show the expected pensions level at retirement, as this information is to be shown with the national tracking system, the Pensions Register.

The Pensions Federation represents approximately 220 pension funds with combined assets of €1.2trn, 5.3m workers, 3m pensioners and 9.1m deferred members.