NETHERLANDS - In a deal with Dutch Employees' Insurance Institute (UWV), the €2bn Pensioenfonds Horeca & Catering (PH&C) is to use the institute's employment data, the fund announced today.

PH&C, the Dutch industry-wide pension fund for employees in hotels, restaurants, cafes and catering, signed a contract with UWV for the use of the data at the end of last week, the fund announced today.

Due to this the employers' administration of the scheme will become more simple and compact and it will enable PH&C to streamline procedures for calculating and collecting pension premiums under new legislation, a spokeswoman for the fund argued.

Last year the Dutch Tax Deparment and UWV combined in a joint initiative to deduct income tax and employee insurance premiums simultaneously from employee salaries.

The reform, Loonaangifte 2006 (Wage Return 2006), which came into force this year, prompted the PH&C already in 2004 to introduce procedural and technical changes for calculating and collecting employer contributions.

Under the new arrangements, the Tax Department and UWV set up a central administration system (Polisadministratie) to process employment data, from which PH&C will now benefit.

Meanwhile, employers submit a combined wage return for income tax and employee insurance, which will reduce their administrative costs.

To prepare for the introduction of the Loonaangifte 2006 and of the Polisadministratie, the fund investigated ways to improve cost efficiency and reduce the administrative burden on employers and decided to drop its existing advance payment system - the initiative won the fund last year's IPE Award for innovation.

The spokeswoman explained that until recently, employers paid contributions to the fund in advance and the invoiced amount was based on employment data from the previous year.

Payments were then corrected and settled, depending on the actual salaries paid, which increased the administrative burden on employers and the fund. The co-operation with UWV will now speed up and simplify this process.