NETHERLANDS - Dutch political youth organisation PensioenOpStand has lodged a complaint with the Advertising Code Committee against the Pension Federation for "misleading information" in its campaign against "prejudices against the pensions sector".
In part, the complaint is directed at the federation's claim that board members at pension funds in the Netherlands were not paid bonuses.
Recent annual reports for the schemes in question indicate the payment of bonuses, and some pension providers, being subsidiaries of pension funds, still grant bonuses, PensioenOpStand said.
In a clarification, Gerard Riemen, director at the Pension Federation, acknowledged that employees were entitled to a bonus for extraordinary performance, but he stressed that providers were different organisations.
PensioenOpStand also contested the federation's claim that participants always accrued more pension rights than they had contributed through premiums.
"After 10 years of paying premiums, a 35 year old has paid more contribution than the value of the accrued pension," the lobbying body argued.
However, retiring at 35 is very unusual, the Pension Federation said, stressing that the value of the accrued pension would be 10 times higher at 65.
PensioenOpStand said the Pension Federation had unjustly stated that pension funds had more assets under management than ever, adding that it was the coverage ratio that mattered most.
PensioenOpStand also objected to the campaign being financed with pension assets, as almost all pension funds' are represented by the Pension Federation.
PensioenOpStand is a co-operation between the youth organisations JOVD of the liberal party VVD, Dwars of the green left party GroenLinks, the SGPJ of the religious party SGP, Jonge Democraten of the liberal democrats D66 and Jonge Socialisten of labour party PvdA.
The Pension Federation stated its case today during a hearing at the Advertising Code Committee, which is expected to make a decision on the case in a matter of weeks.