NETHERLANDS – Social affairs minister Aart Jan de Geus has made critical comments about the European Commission’s proposed directive on pensions portability.

His main point of criticism – in a letter to Parliament - is the inclusion of an indexation commitment. If implemented, this would have very negative results for the financial situation of the Dutch pension sector.

The Commission unveiled its proposals last October. A month later, Dutch employers organisation VNO-NCW came out against the proposal, citing similar problems as de Geus.

The ministry said in a statement that European plans needs total unanimity and that the Netherlands would have a possibility to veto the procedure.

At present, the directive targets only the second and third pillar pension schemes. First pillar schemes, such as the AOW, already have their own directive.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Association of Insurers (Verbond van Vezekeraars) has issued another warning about pension funds’ non-core activities.

It comes several weeks after the two largest funds, ABP and PGGM, agreed to keep a very low profile on their involvement in ‘life-course’ financial product providers Loyalis and Careon.

The association, supported by the Dutch Central Bank, in January forced the two funds to comply with new regulations on core business.