NETHERLANDS - The Dutch employer organisation for the metal industry and union CNV have today argued pension funds need more time to recover from the global economic downturn than the current regulated timeframe.

According to the De Metaalunie organisation and CNV, the three-year recovery period prescribed by the Dutch pension law is too short.

The pension funds have lost large amounts as a result of the credit crisis and low interest rates and therefore will not be able to erase their deficits within these three years, argued the two organisations in a statement today.

Many pension funds have frozen their benefits in recent weeks and passed on paying indexation to make up for their losses.

The two industry bodies have argued this measure alone will not suffice, and the funds will have to raise premiums or reduce benefits.

They are now campaigning to give pension funds a longer period to restock their reserves.

Dutch pensions minister Piet Hein Donner last week revealed the Dutch central bank and pension regulator DNB will decide in the second half of February whether additional measures need to be taken to help pension funds survive the credit crunch. (See earlier IPE story: DNB to decide on more rescue measures)

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