Dutch Parliament gives pensioners council extra rights on big decisions
NETHERLANDS – The Dutch Parliament has decided the participants and pensioners council (DPR), under the revised pension fund governance system, will have a right of advice and approval on fundamental decisions that involve the existence of a pension fund.
During the final vote on the proposed legislation, the Lower House also decided to grant the DPR – renamed the 'accountability body' – the right to close, change or terminate a contract for pensions provision.
Parliament added the option of elections for the accountability body at the request of at least 1%, or 500 participants, of a pension fund, and decided that the employer could also take up a seat.
The MPs also adopted an amendment tabled by Pieter Omtzigt of the Christian Democrat party CDA to grant a company's employee council (OR) the right of approval for pension contracts to be placed in a pension fund.
However, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for the Social Affairs Ministry, noted that this regulation may need to be revised at a later date, "following further assessment of the reach of the OR legislation and possible interaction with labour law".
The Lower House also decided that a supervisory board must not only notify direct stakeholders in the event of a dysfunctional board, but must also inform supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank.
Only the Liberal Democrats (D66) and the party for the elderly (50PLUS) voted against the new governance legislation.
Their main objection was that the new act has capped pensioners' representation at a pension fund's board at 25%.
The existing draft legislation Koşer Kaja Blok (KKB) – tabled by former MPs Fatma Koşer Kaja (D66) and Stef Blok of Liberal Party VVD – provides for a proportional representation of pensioners.
Their legislation is to be over-ruled by the new PFG Act.