NETHERLANDS – Dutch insurers have accused the two largest pension funds ABP and PGGM of unfairly using their positions to actively market ‘levensloop’, or life-course, products to their members.

According to the daily Het Financieele Dagblad, the Dutch Association of Insurers has asked the regulator DNB to intervene.

The commercial insurers are angered by the fact that civil service scheme ABP and health care scheme PGGM are actively approaching their 2m members in order to sell insurance based on the new levensloop, which comes into force as of January 1.

Because the new VPL legislation only allows the scheme offering their levensloop products via separate subsidiary companies, ABP and PGGM have housed them with Loyalis and Careon respectively. But according to the insurers, the pension funds have repeatedly informed their members about those levensloop products.

“The way ABP and PGGM are acting, is hampering a fair competition,” the paper quoted from the association’s letter to the regulator. The insurers have stressed they’d like to receive a quick reply.

The association also points at rules for industry-wide pension funds, which forbid schemes to inform their members about products of third parties. “In our opinion this applies to subsidiary companies as well,” it said.

“The politicians have allowed us to provide levensloop schemes via subsidiaries. Then we should at least be allowed to tell our members the names and products of the subsidiaries. Let the regulator decide on the legality,” said ABP spokesman Hand ten Brinke. PGGM’s spokesman Martin van de Akker responded in a similar way.

The market for levensloop products is approximately worth €2bn in 2006.