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Dutch watchdog fines notaries' pension fund for information failings

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The Dutch Financial Markets Authority (AFM) has fined SNPF, the €1.2bn occupational pension fund for notaries, for failing to inform leaving participants about their options for value transfer.

The communications watchdog found that the scheme, between 2010 and 2013, failed to provide legally required information in more than 420 instances.

It said the information had been important to help departing members make a well-considered choice about the transfer of their pension rights, enabling them to ask their new pensions provider for a quote for value transfer.

In the Netherlands, the previous provider must transfer the accrual rights, if the participant requests a quote and subsequently asks for such a transfer during his first six months in a new pension plan.

Although the potential fine could have been as high as €500,000, the AFM limited the penalty for the notaries scheme to less than €5,000.

It said the SNPF had acted pro-actively and cited the scheme’s limited scale, adding that the fine would ultimately have been shouldered by its 6,390 participants.

In a statement, the SNPF said it had reported the omission to the AFM and subsequently had done “everything possible to rectify the problem”.

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