NETHERLANDS – SNPF, the €1.2bn occupational pension fund for Dutch notaries, is to introduce “reviewed and pared down” pensions arrangements.

SNPF said it would replace its current ‘fixed amount scheme’ with a standard average-salary package, with average contributions rather than an individual age-dependent premium.

Under the new arrangements, notaries would accrue 1.75% of their future pension every year over a salary of up to €50,855, minus a €13,227 ‘franchise’, the amount exempt from pensions accrual.

Participants would not be entitled to an incapacity pension any longer.

For incomes exceeding the standard amount, notaries can voluntarily participate in a defined contribution scheme with a choice of investments, SNPF said.

Currently, notaries accrue a fixed amount of more than €780 a year for their future pension benefits.

The new plan is still subject to approval by notaries’ association KNB.

The coverage ratio at SNPF has recovered to 102.8% as at April-end, after a 5.8% rights cut on 1 April and an additional provision of 1.5 percentage points for an increase in scheme-specific life expectancy.

At the end of 2011, the pension fund’s funding was 91.3%, after a first rights discount of almost 2% at the start of that year.

Over the past decade, SNPF has been unable to grant any indexation.

In other news, the pensioners’ lobbying organisations KNVG and NVOG have demanded a say in discussions and negotiations about the future of the Dutch pensions system.

In a letter to state secretary Jetta Klijnsma and social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher, they said it was unacceptable that pensioners were not at the negotiating table while their interests were at stake.

KNVG and NVOG said they particularly wanted to join discussions on planned changes in the pensions contract and the new financial assessment framework (FTK).

They said they feared that rigid times constraints would compromise the careful preparations needed for such a “complicated transformation”.

The umbrella organisation claims to represent more than 300,000 participants directly and speak for 3m stakeholders indirectly.