NETHERLANDS - Approval by the Dutch Senate of national legislation for enforcing the EU Directive on occupational pension funds means that the Netherlands has now met its obligations under EU rules to enshrine the Directive in its own laws.

The “Yes” vote for the Bill sponsored by Social Affairs Minister Aart Jan de Geus means that Dutch companies can now hire a pensions provider in another EU member state to manage their pension commitments.

Under the Directive, responsibility for supervising a pension scheme’s management will lie with the watchdog of the pensions provider’s country. Pension scheme investments are required to meet the national rules of safety, quality and spread of risk.

Compliance with the Directive also means that company, industrywide and occupational pension funds in the Netherlands can receive assets from employers and the self-employed from other member states. In this case, supervision will be the responsibility of the Dutch regulator, De Nederlandsche Bank.

The Department of Social Affairs (DSA) says an important feature of the rules is that if a pensions institute is providing a scheme that has been agreed in another member state, that other state’s social and labour legislation will apply.

“It certainly applies to the mandatory participation in the pension scheme, and the contents of the scheme as agreed in collective labour agreements, or CAOs,” the DSA said.

The EU Directive on occupational pensions is a first step towards a European single market for company pensions.