Dutch watchdog raps pensions providers for communications blunders
NETHERLANDS - Dutch pension funds and insurers are often late in providing their participants with information, and even when they do send the information, it is often incorrect, according to a Financial Markets Authority (AFM) report.
The communications watchdog, which conducted a survey of pension funds and insurers selected at random, found that the mandatory information for new and leaving participants was often provided too late - or not at all.
It also found that stated pension rights were sometimes incorrect or unverifiable.
According to the AFM, the pension providers often attributed the delays to employers providing their data too late.
"However," the regulator added, "the providers are responsible for the communication with their participants."
It called on pension providers and employers to improve their arrangements to avoid similar mistakes in future.
It also confirmed that it would take "formal measures" against at least one pension provider, including possible fines.
The AFM said it had decided to investigate the pension providers after receiving information from consumers and the industry.
It acknowledged, however, that previous surveys had shown overall improvement in pension funds and insurers' communications.