The Dutch Labour Foundation (Stichting van de Arbeid), which is made up of employer organisations and trade unions that supply the bulk of Dutch pension fund trustees, has written a letter to the Netherlands’ finance and pension ministers requesting financial support to help shoulder the increase in regulatory costs related to the ongoing pension transition.
Last year, finance minister Sigrid Kaag announced that regulators DNB and AFM need some €10m additional budget per year between them to supervise the transition from a defined benefit (DB) system to defined contribution (DC) between 2023 and 2027.
The extra money is supposed to be coughed up entirely by pension funds. However, the social partners argue this is unfair. Instead, they want to charge the taxpayer for the “one-off costs” related to the pension transition.
According to the Labour Foundation, which is supported by the Dutch pension federation in this view, financing through the government budget would provide a much-needed stimulus to keep costs in check.
“This stimulus is now missing because the pension sector is paying anyway,” the foundation noted in its letter.
According to Willem Noordman, a board member at the Netherlands’ largest trade union FNV, it would be “logical” for the government to take on part of the supervisory costs.
After all, these costs are a direct consequence of new legislation produced by this same government, Noordman argued.
In their letter, trade unions and employer organisations also call on the government to involve them in the budgeting process for pension supervision for the period 2025-28.
“The pension sector now had no influence whatsoever on how supervision is conducted, but pays for all of it. We want to discuss with the involved ministers whether all the planned supervisory activities are really all necessary. Maybe some things could be done in a more efficient way,” they wrote.