NETHERLANDS - The Dutch cabinet will introduce a new pensions vehicle - known as an API - to bolster the Netherlands' position as a destination for pan-European pensions, according to Social Affairs minister Piet Hein Donner.


"Once the APIs have a legal status, there will be a review of the mandatory participation of companies in industry-wide schemes," Donner said in a letter to Parliament.


For the time being, however, the minister does not intend to abolish mandatory participation in industry-wide schemes. This is deemed essential for social solidarity, Donner added.


The minister also said that the new pensions model will not involve mandatory contracting out of asset management and administration.


The proposed vehicle will meet the criteria of the IORP Directive and can operate as a subsidiary of a pension fund or an insurer. It will also be able to act as a pension provider.


Unlike with a pension fund, no specific criteria for the establishment of a board will apply.

"We are waiting for a further clarification on the plans," Peter Borgdorff, director of the Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds, or VB, commented to IPE.  "At present, it raises more questions than it is providing answers."

"For example, Donner doesn't provide clarity on the ownership of an API, nor the mandatory character of schemes under an API. He doesn't indicate his ideas on issues like solvency, supervision and participation either."


The new vehicle was conceived by professors  Arnoud Boot and Berend Jan Drijber and presented in April. ABP then dismissed the API  as "no attractive alternative" for its own administrative set-up.

The minister also said that he is looking into additional options for occupational pensions for self-employed.