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Dutch OPF wants one pensions supervisor

NETHERLANDS - The government should aim for only one pensions regulator instead of two, says the Foundation of Company Pension Funds, or OPF.

"A strong and uniform supervision is best to be achieved by one regulator. We still fear that two supervisors will lead to an overlap, e.g. the implementation of additional contributions," it states in a position paper, preceding the discussions on the Pensions Bill in parliament.

The government's proposal still consists of two regulators: De Nederlandsche Bank, or DNB, for the financial and prudential supervision, and the Autoriteit Financiele Markten, or AFM, for the behavioural aspects. A separate and independent regulator for behaviour will prevent this aspect playing a subordinate role within the total supervision, the government argues.

Earlier, the Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds, or VB, also indicated it strongly objects to two pension supervisors.

According to the OPF, the present practice - that pension funds only advise their participants in case of individual freedom of investment - should be continued.

The OPF is also pleading for access by the pension umbrella groups to a future pensions data bank, in order to provide its members with the necessary information. At present, the government's opinion is that pension funds shouldn't be allowed to access the data bank.

The OPF objects to the proposed curb of the right to investigation of the supervisory board. "This indirectly steers the choice of how the internal supervision will be organised," it says. "The government should either leave the right to investigation untouched, or scrap it altogether."

The umbrella group says it prefers minimum requirements for the duty of information for pension funds. The schemes themselves should determine the details, it indicated.

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