NETHERLANDS – The OPF, the Foundation of Company Pension Funds, has expressed criticism of the proposed structure for Dutch pension fund governance.

The Stichting van de Arbeid – the Dutch labour foundation also known as Star - released the proposal today after a leak in the press yesterday.

“We want to stress that we are in favour of strong principles of pension governance,” said OPF director Jeroen Steenvoorden. “However, the principles are right but we don’t like the structure.”

“There is no short-term structure, and the long-term structure will result in more administration, it will be less efficient and decision making will be slower,” he said.

Steenvoorden predicted that there will be much opposition to the code, but stressed that it was important to get feedback from employers, unions and industry-wide organisations.

The code was prepared by the labour foundation’s Projectgroep Pension Fund Governance.

As well as the OPF, contributions to the consultation were made by the Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds (VB), the Verbond van Verzekeraars and the Coördinatieorgaan van Samenwerkende Ouderenorganisaties (CSO).

Over the next few weeks, the proposal will be put to the industry for commentary or suggestions.

Steenvoorden said it was too early to say whether the comments would lead to significant changes to the proposed code.

The code was delayed in July this year. At the time several issues were under discussion, including who had the say in pension funds, corporate governance in an insurance-based scheme and the development of non-core activities.

“The planning has been a bit too ambitious, because of the complexity of a number of issues,” Star member Gerard Verheij stated upon the delay.

Following any reactions or commentary on the proposal, the labour foundation will draft the final code.