NETHERLANDS - The National Register of Governors and Supervisors (NR) and the Register for Board Members of Pension Funds (RBP) will merge this year, both organisations have announced.

The new National Register (NR) wants to fill vacancies for independent board members and members of pension fund internal supervisory bodies as soon as possible, said a joint statement.

“An important reason for the merger, is the desire of the Labour Foundation Star, the pension funds’ umbrellas and joint organisations for the elderly CSO, for a pool of experts for the future boards and internal supervisory bodies at pension schemes,” they explained.

“The RBP feels the need for enlargement and enforcement of its position within the environment of employers’ and employees’ organisations and pension funds. Moreover, it wants to put the executive activities with a larger professional body,” the registers added.

The NR aims at providing governors, supervisors and board members for listed and structured companies, family-run and retail companies, healthcare and welfare organisations, building societies and educational bodies. It has been active since 2002.

The RBP – established in 2004 – has mainly targeted the vacancies within boards and board committees of pension funds.

Meanwhile, RBP secretary Olav Loeber has indicated that pension funds hardly feel the need for a permanent supervisory board. “That’s why most of them will choose the mildest supervisory regime allowed,” he said in the daily ‘Het Financieele Dagblad’.

“Market signals indicate that both large and small schemes are considering to establish a visitation committee which will conduct a three-yearly check. This could be unwise for small pension funds, who usually lack sufficient expertise and actually need a more strict and permanent supervision,” Loeber explained.

Within two years, all 800 pension funds must apply the governance code developed by the sector. One of its requirements is an independent supervisory body at each scheme.

Loeber expects that approximately 200 internal supervisors will ultimately be needed. Supervisors within a visitation committee should be allowed to check 10 schemes at maximum, he said.