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Dutch Pensions Federation warns of IORP II 'communications overkill'

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The European Commission’s proposals for pension fund communication within the revised IORP II Directive are heading in the wrong direction and carry the risk of “non-directed overkill”, the Dutch Pensions Federation has warned.

In a preliminary response to the reviewed Directive, it said the very experienced Dutch pensions sector was now focusing on a “demand-based communication to participants, presented in layers”.

The Federation referred to the suggested introduction of an annual Pension Benefit Statement, a two-page document pension fonds must issue on paper or through their websites.

Gert Kloosterboer, spokesman for the Pensions Federation, said: “Our experience is that information should be based on a proper analysis of what participants want to know and presented in several layers, with the most basic information on top.

“It is not a matter of providing more information but of offering an overview for a quick understanding, as well as enabling people to dig deeper and compare arrangements if they wish.”

In its preliminary response, the Federation did not comment on the funding of cross-border services, as Dutch pension funds are “hardly involved in these activities”, Kloosterboer told IPE.

The Pensions Federation said it was pleased that more time would be given to define the Directive’s quantitative demands, citing their potentially huge impact on the Dutch sector.

It also reiterated its view that pension funds differed fundamentally from banks and insurers and therefore required a different approach.

“Contrary to commercial banks and insurers, pension funds’ operations are based on risk-sharing through mandatory and collective participation, and they consider themselves as social institutions active on financial markets,” the lobbying organisation said.

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