NETHERLANDS - Dutch minister for social affairs Henk Kamp has said pension funds should have the option of putting together boards consisting of external professional members only.

However, in a draft bill sent to parliament, Kamp added that any board of external experts would still require the approval of employers, workers and pensioners for important decisions.

According to the minister, schemes should also be allowed to opt for a board model consisting of the social partners of employers and employees, as well as pensioners.

That said, Kamp indicated that in the second option, pensioners should get no more than a quarter of the seats on the board.

However, the minister's proposal on pensioner representation went further than the bill put together by MPs Fatma Koşer-Kaja of the liberal democrats (D66) and Stef Blok of the liberal party (VVD), who want pensioners on the board after participants' approval.

Kamp has proposed allocating fewer board seats - no more than 37.5%, rather than the usual 50% - in the second option, if the pension contribution has reached its agreed maximum.

In the current board model, employers and employees occupy the seats on a 50-50 basis.

The Pension Federation was not wholly pleased with Kamp's bill.

Gert Kloosterboer, spokesman at the federation, said: "The minister is meddling too much with the social partners' position on governance - for example, through putting too much competence with external players in the internal supervision.

"We also regret that the minister has dropped the option of a one-tier board, which has turned out to be a favourite set up with pension funds."