NETHERLANDS - Dutch life insurers have pension liabilities totalling €31.2bn, pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank said.

According to the watchdog, insurers carried out 46,000 collective schemes in 2005, involving 886,000 active members.

In comparison, Dutch pension funds have a total of €450bn of liabilities for 6,225,000 workers in total.

DNB surveys show that collective arrangements with insurers are more frugal in general than pension funds' schemes, it said.

"This is probably due to the small-scale of the collective schemes with insurers, which might offer participants less influence on the pension promise," the regulator explained.

Meanwhile, research of rebalancing transactions seems to show that pension funds tend to buy listed equity during periods of relatively poor returns, DNB said.

"This way, the schemes are a stabilising force within the equity trade. Adjustments in the fixed income portfolio seem to be less return-dependent," the regulator concluded.

At life insurers, rebalancing doesn't play a role, probably because these institutions are mainly bound by contractually defined destinations for pensions contributions, DNB indicated.