NETHERLANDS - Dutch pension funds are too slow in delivering their financial figures, which hampers their  ability to analyse and be pro-active, says a survey by KPMG.

The consultant's survey of over 100 pension funds shows that more than 50% need between two and four months before they can present their annual accounts, while one in four schemes take up to six months.

Edward Snieder, director of pension advice at KPMG commented: "Steering an organisation based on six-month old figures doesn't make much sense, and compares badly with international companies, which can produce a concept report within five to seven days."

In his opinion, the current market turbulence and the increased importance of risk management require quick changes.

"An earlier insight into correct and reliable information, offers the board more options for a  pro-active approach and being in control," Snieder stressed, adding that faster acting by pension providers was crucial.

"The earlier figures are available, the more they can be used as a tool for risk management," he pointed out.

"It will also make the board less dependent on third parties in interpreting figures, and allows it to formulate critical questions for their scheme's asset manager."

According to Snieder, pension funds should demand better reporting competence from their asset managers, administrators, accountants and actuaries.

"By standardising and improving closing processes, such as limiting the number of versions of an annual account, a lot of time can be gained at all stakeholders," he said.

While he declined to propose the introduction of a time limit, Sniederr urged the sector to discuss the issue.