NETHERLANDS - A large majority of the Dutch parliament wants the government to take steps to get essential components of the national pension system acknowledged in the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

In an initiative led by Christian Democrat MP Pieter Omtzigt, 133 of the 150 MPs have asked the ministers of social affairs, finance and justice to launch a joint approach with like-minded EU countries, such as the UK and Ireland, to secure the crucial elements of the Dutch system's reporting regime.

Parliamentary questions were triggered by the announcement of project manager Anne McGeachin of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) when she said an exemption for the Dutch pension system will not be considered as part of the revision of IFRS.

"The IFRS must be applicable worldwide, and therefore cannot go around exempting jurisdictions," McGeachin - who is preparing the review of the pension standard IAS19 - told IPE earlier this week.

In a recently published discussion paper, the IASB indicated it wants to abolish the present option for companies to show the results of their pension funds in a buffered way on their balance sheets, the so-called ‘corridor approach' which has been adopted by Dutch firms.

Suggested new rules will also force companies to financially anticipate a full indexation, whereas present national legislation allows Dutch pension funds to make ad hoc decisions on inflation corrections.

The MPs have specifically asked the government to advocate the present principle of risk-sharing between employers, workers and industry-wide pension funds as well as the ‘corridor'.

"The Dutch system is based on solidarity between generations and, as a consequence, disappointing returns on investments are spread out over both present and future generations. The IASB seems to limit the option to balance surpluses and shortfalls over time," MPs stated.

"We are not aiming for an exemption for the Netherlands, but we want the Dutch system - which is often considered as an example - to be taken into account," Omtzigt told IPE.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Julie Henderson on + 44 (0)20 7261 4602 or email