NETHERLANDS – The Dutch pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has granted pensions provider PGGM and Rabobank a license to jointly operate the new pensions vehicle PPI.

The Rabo PGGM PPI is to offer collective defined contribution pension plans to employers who do not accrue their workers’ pensions through a regular pension fund.

Rabobank would provide pensions advice to its business clients, whereas PGGM would carry out the administration and investment strategy based on life-cycle investment funds.

In other news, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, has appointed a six-member committee to assess the sustainability of the ultimate forward rate (UFR) as the accounting criterion for pension funds’ liabilities.

The UFR was introduced last September.

Klijnsma appointed Casper van Ewijk, professor of macroeconomics and deputy head of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, and Theo Nijman, professor of financial markets and investment theory and scientific director at Netspar, the network for studies on pensions, ageing and retirement.

The committee also includes Antoon Pelsser, professor of finance and actuarial science; Olaf Sleijpen, professor of European economic policy and director of pension fund supervision at the DNB; and Onno Steenbeek, professor of risk management at pension funds and director of asset-liability management at APG.

The UFR committee is to be chaired by Theo Langejan, chief executive at the Dutch Healthcare Authority and a former director-general of fiscal policy at the Treasury.

Meanwhile, the state secretary has signed legislation into law giving pensioners a seat on the board of pension funds.

The legislation – initiated by MPs Fatma Koşer Kaja of the liberal democrats D66 and Stef Blok of the liberal party VVD – will come into force from 1 July.

She added, however, that the Koşer Kaja/Blok Act would be superseded by the delayed legislation for pension fund governance if it passed through Parliament before 1 July.

Lastly, the €37bn pension fund for the building industry BpfBOUW said it would decrease the yearly pensions accrual from 2.25% to 1.8% to “economise” on its pension arrangements.

BOUW added that it would raise its contribution by 0.7 percentage points to 22.6% of the pensionable salary.

The scheme also announced that its return on investments over the first 11 months of 2012 was 12.9%.