NETHERLANDS - The Upper House of Parliament, the Eerste Kamer, has passed the new Pensions Act, according to national news agency ANP.

From January 1 the new rules will mean stricter requirements will apply to pension funds, it said.

The bill sets requirements for the size of schemes' capital. Members must on average not see reserves dip below the required minimum more than once during the period when their pensions are built up.

The co-decision-making status of fund participants is to be enshrined in law - meaning corporate funds will have to set up a participants' council.

Company pension funds can choose between a participants council or representation of pensioners on the board.

In addition, schemes and insurers must give clear explanations to their participants and pensioners on their capital built up and indexation of their pensions to inflation at least once a year.