NETHERLANDS - The three Dutch pension fund lobbying organisations have agreed to intensify their co-operation by merging their resources into a federation.

The Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds (VB), the Union of Occupational Pension Funds (UvB) and the Foundation of Company Pension Funds (OPF) said they would merge their three bureaus, led by Gerard Riemen, the acting director of VB.

The new organisation will move to a joint office in the Prinsenhofcomplex in the Beatrixkwartier in The Hague in November.

In a joint statement, the boards of VB, UvB and OPF said they believed they could be more decisive and have a bigger impact together, as the pension sector is "facing big challenges and is under scutiny, not only from government and supervisors, but also of the media and its own participants".

They added that the present problems facing the Dutch industry highlighted the necessity for joining forces.

The new federation will get its own board of representatives, but the rank and file of the three lobbying organisations still need to endorse the federation plan.

Two years ago, the pension funds organisations already decided on closer co-operation, starting to operate jointly.

Until then, VB, UvB and OPF had been working together by issuing joint position papers and press releases on, for example, the new Pension Act, the new government's coalition agreement and social responsible investment.

Meanwhile, the OPF has appointed Gerard Rutten, 51, as its new chairman.

Rutten will succeed Loek Sibbing, 51, who stands down after his five-years period of office.