The Dutch government has postponed the introduction of long-awaited pensions vehicle APF by six months to 1 January 2016 despite acknowledging the “urgency” of its introduction.
In a letter to Parliament, Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, said the government needed more time to answer questions about the APF Bill.
Klijnsma said she agreed with the pensions sector on the urgency of the APF’s introduction but stressed that addressing a number of outstanding questions on voluntary pension plans, collective value transfer, governance and working capital required more time.
In her letter, Klijnsma said the concept of the draft legislation would be open for consultation to enable the sector to share its views with the government.
She did not, however, provide any additional details about the ultimate design of the APF, leaving the sector in the dark over whether mandatory industry-wide pensions funds would be allowed to join the new vehicle.
More than a year ago, the Dutch Pensions Federation urged the government to expedite the introduction of the APF, as it sees the vehicle as an alternative for pension funds considering liquidation.
An APF offers pension funds the option to operate under a single and independent board but with ring-fenced assets.
It is meant to serve as a third type of pension fund, replacing the API – the defined benefit vehicle for cross-border schemes – which never took off.