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Nearly 60% of Dutch people distrust pension funds – survey

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  • Nearly 60% of Dutch people distrust pension funds – survey

NETHERLANDS – Nearly 60% of Dutch citizens have little or no faith in the managers or board members of their pension funds, according to research bureau MarketResponse.

In an online survey of more than 1,200 adults on their faith in service-providing occupations, pension funds fared no better than the managers and board members of scandal-plagued housing corporations.

Respondents' trust in all occupational groups – including accountants, lawyers and notaries – was negative on balance.

Insurers and banks were mistrusted by 52% and 53% of respondents, respectively.

Care insurers, lawyers, notaries and accountants scored best, with accountants mistrusted by 25% of the population, MarketResponse said.

The researcher cited personal gain as the most important reason for participants' lack of faith in managers and governors.

Respondents were also unhappy about high salaries and disproportional bonuses, as well as risky products, insurance policies against disproportional costs and "wrong investments".

However, the survey also found that managers and board members' expertise and experience were not a source of discontent.

MarketResponse said people in particular questioned managers and board members' integrity, reliability and honesty, and doubted whether clients' interest had priority.

Willem Brethouwer, director at MarketResponse, added: "A focus on valuable client contact, as well as increased transparency, seem to be key to the solution."

In his opinion, organisations should openly admit mistakes and show how mistakes are being avoided now and in the future.

However, he also warned against too much transparency.

"An overdose of non-verifiable information could lead to distrust or disappointment," he said.

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