NETHERLANDS – Pensioners are still not sufficiently involved in the running of Dutch pension funds, says the Social Economic Council, or SER.

The Labour Foundation, or Star, and the cooperating organisations for the elderly, or SCO, had agreed that at least 65% of the pension funds would have an adequate participation, either as a mandatory council or directly on the board, by 2005.

Now a SER survey has shown that it’s mainly small schemes haven’t met their obligations. However, 40% of company schemes – representing 71% of the active members and 77% of the pensioners - are in line with the agreement.

“Although 74% of the company pension funds have a degree of participation, many have pensioners on the board, who haven’t been nominated by (a society of) pensioners,” SER explained.

“At other schemes already having a council of participants, the ratio of the seats doesn’t match the ratio between active members and pensioners. And some funds haven’t yet installed their council of participants,” they added.

Star and SCO have expressed their disappointment on the outcome of the evaluation. “Besides aiming at self-regulation of the pension funds, we will plead in favour of a legal obligation of fulfilment of the arrangements of the covenant,” they said in a statement.

Both players announced they will meet very shortly to mapping out on how to approach the minister of Social Affairs. They will take into account the running pension funds governance project of the Star, they added.

The covenant is effective until July 2007.