NETHERLANDS - Piet Hein Donner, the Dutch minister of social affairs, has confirmed pension funds will not get any financial aid from the government, reconfirming earlier statements of his colleague Wouter Bos, minister of finance.

He addressed an industry conference yesterday, arguing politicians need to keep their distance: "Lending to pension funds surpasses the expectation that pension funds can manage without help."

According to Donner, state aid is not necessary at the moment as pension funds are currently in a ‘time-out period' and do not have to hand a recovery plan to the Dutch pension regulator DNB, where there is a shortfall on individual funding buffers, until April next year.

Keeping the debate about cash injections for pension funds in the public eye, Donner added: "We have to ensure pension fund are not forced to take hasty decisions," adding he hoped the situation will have improved by April next year.

Bos said earlier this month the term ‘financial institutions' should be unlimited to prevent legal precedence, when asked if the government would consider giving financial aid to pension funds, in a manner similar to that given to bancassurers. (See earlier IPE story: No state aid for ailing Dutch schemes)

Donner, as minister of social affairs responsible for pension fund legislation in the Netherlands, repeated Bos' stance at the conference, adding injecting money into pension funds is a "panic measure".

He also said he was "saddened" by news from the DNB suggesting it had only received word from 40% of the funds who have a reserve shortage, reminding funds of their legal obligation to communicate to the DNB when they hit a reserve shortage. (See earlier IPE story: Donner warns on communicating reserves shortage)

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