De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the Dutch pensions regulator, has warned pension funds that they must speed up preparations for the introduction of the FTK, the country’s new financial assessment framework.
Speaking during the recent Euroforum conference in Amsterdam, Olaf Sleijpen, supervisory director for pension funds, said more than half of Dutch schemes, according to DNB figures, doubt they will have a transition plan in place before the end of the year.
“This is not good enough, despite the fact the details of the new FTK still need to established,” he said.
He also lamented the fact that more than half of schemes said they would not carry out surveys to measure their participants’ risk appetite.
According to Sleijpen, the DNB found that the larger Dutch pension funds were best prepared for the introduction of the new FTK.
“While 50% of the larger schemes are on track with their preparations, merely 17% of all pension funds have progressed sufficiently,” he said.
The supervisory director advised pension funds to focus firstly on the transition to the new FTK, and use next spring to implement the new governance legislation that must come into force on 1 July 2014.
Sleijpen further said that the DNB survey showed that approximately 20% of Dutch pension funds were considering liquidation before the new FTK took effect on 1 January 2015.
He added that the DNB did not intend to change its application of the ‘prudent person’ approach for pension funds’ investment policies.
“The prudent person remains an open standard that primarily must be filled in by the schemes themselves,” he stressed, adding that borderline cases would be assessed on the basis of ‘comply or explain’.