NETHERLANDS – Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary at the Ministry of Social Affairs, has added the option of a one-tier board model to the Cabinet's bill to improve pension fund governance.

In a letter to the Social and Economic Council (SER), she argued that pension funds should have the option of equal representation, an independent board or a so-called 'upside down' mixed model.

In the first two options, the members of the supervisory council or the visitation committee would become the supervisory part of the board, she said, adding that this could improve efficiency.

In the 'upside down' mixed model, external professional board members would act as executives, while representatives of stakeholders functioned as supervisory board members.

However, Klijnsma also noted that, for the last model, additional legal guarantees would be necessary for proper and independent supervision.

In other news, the Financial Markets Authority (AFM) has issued a €200,000 fine to life insurer Goudse Levensverzekeringen for failing to provide mandatory information to participants leaving a corporate pension plan.

The watchdog said the omission had put participants at a disadvantage, as they had been unable to make informed decisions about their financial position.

It said Goudse failed to provide information about the indexation of non-contributary pension claims, or participants' right to value transfer.

It added that the insurer had now provided the lacking information and had offered an "appropriate solution" where participants had been disadvantaged.

The standard fine for such a violation is €500,000; however, the watchdog said it had taken into account the seriousness of the case and the scale of the insurer in lowering the fine.