NETHERLANDS - A new organisation called the Dutch Pensioner Association Umbrella Group (KNVG) has been created to serve as the professional lobbying body for Dutch pensioners.

Temporarily chaired by Martin van Rooijen - a former finance minister and chairman at VNOG, the national organisation of pensioner associations - the new body said it planned to lobby politicians, supervisors, social partners and policymakers in the Netherlands and Brussels.

In a statement, the KNVG said it would represent approximately 80,000 members and indirectly look after the interests of more than 1m pensioners.

According spokesman Rob de Brouwer, an additional 16 pensioner associations with approximately 25,000 members are thinking to join the new umbrella group, which currently comprises 20 associations.

The KNVG also said it would target the approximately 3m Dutch pensioners with a second-pillar pension.

In May, the temporary chairman had left the NVOG - where he was also chairman - together with all other board members.

Van Rooijen claimed the existing associations for the elderly were ill equipped to represent their members at the national and European levels.

"Efforts to make a fist through co-operation failed because of slow consultations, a lack of specific expertise and internal division," he said.

"Stakeholders are only willing to listen to pensioners if they join discussions in a timely manner, are well informed and provide manageable proposals."

The KNVG said its first initiative would be to launch its own plan for the controversial discount rate for liabilities.