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Dutch foundation eyes pension governance

NETHERLANDS - There is no need for a compulsory separation between the governance and the implementation of pensions schemes, says the Dutch employment foundation, the Stichting van de Arbeid.

It was responding to a proposal for a new implementation model by social affairs minister Aart Jan de Geus. This proposed a separation between the collective solidarity and the market-based approach.

“We don’t oppose such a split, because there are many examples in which this works out well. But we do object to a compulsory separation for all schemes,” the foundation, known as Star, said in a letter to the minister.

Many Dutch pension schemes have already put administration and investment out to contract, but some of the larger funds, like civil service scheme ABP and health care scheme PGGM, carry out these tasks themselves.

According to Star, the minister doesn’t explain why the special position of pension funds within the European competition legislation is at risk because of the implementation of their schemes under direct management.

Clearly defined domains and tasks plus a guaranteed quality are essential for a lasting special position, says Star.

“Schemes should keep their freedom of choice between fully or partly contracting out and implementation under own management”.

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