The Dutch pensions industry’s interest in the integration of living, care and pensions would seem to be on the wane after Euroforum reported surprisingly low subscriber numbers for a planned congress on the topic. 

The company said it decided to cancel the event – scheduled for 28 January – as it would have drawn no more than 15 participants, according to Mark Claessens, congress adviser at Euroforum.

Claessens told IPE he could not provide a clear explanation for the lack of interest from the sector.

“Following our research, we assumed the subject would be interesting,” he said. “However, the set-up of the congress might have played a role, or maybe everybody in the sector is too busy with the preparations for other things to come.”

Niels Kortleve, innovation manager at €153bn asset manager PGGM and chairman of the national steering committee on Living, Care and Pensions, added: ”The sector is busy with a flood of new regulations. It is probably too early for pension funds’ boards to look into the subject. They haven’t had enough time to consider the issue at the moment.”

But Kortleve also pointed out that the topic was gaining momentum at PGGM.

“Currently, we are looking into pensions and mortgages, in part following the Cabinet’s announcement that it would investigate whether workers’ contributions could also be deployed for paying off mortgages,” he said.

Casper van Ewijk, the new director at Netspar, a network of pensions researchers and professionals, said: “We receive many questions about living, care and pensions, and we consider the topic as crucial for discussions about the future of our pensions system. The discussion is to focus on how to serve people individually, and care and living is part and parcel of it.”

Van Ewijk suggested the Dutch pensions industry had not yet fully appreciated the importance of the issue, and that the themes covered by the congress had perhaps been too general.

Claessens said Euroforum would consider the possibility of incorporating the topic of living and care into one of its other congresses later this year.