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PVK waves white paper

The Dutch pensions and insurance regulator PVK has invited the country’s pension funds to comment on a new white paper concerning pension fund solvency requirements.
The conciliatory move comes after the regulator issued a controversial letter to schemes last September warning those whose coverage levels had fallen below 100% that they had a year to rectify the situation.
Gaston Siegelaer, project manager for the Financial Assessment Framework White Paper at the PVK, says the regulator is looking for feedback from pension funds by 9 May.
“We are very interested as to what pension funds and other industry experts think about the ideas that we have set out in the white paper.”
The White Paper harks back to the issues that were raised in the PVK letter last year, as well as proposing a number of new rules for pension fund solvency that will be integrated into a financial framework for pension funds and insurance companies that is expected to come into effect in January 2006.
Says Siegelaer: “The letter from September last year referred to an actual situation for pension funds in the current markets. On the other hand issues were also mentioned in the letter that might allow pension funds to anticipate the solvency rules in the new financial framework.”
He notes that there are a number of steps still to be taken before the white paper makes it into regulation:
“Firstly we will evaluate all the comments and feedback on the white paper and take account of all the good ideas. Then we will write out a complete financial assessment framework, not only for solvency tests but also for so-called continuity tests. That will be in the summer of this year. Then we will have a formal consultation with the representatives of pension funds, insurance companies, actuaries and accountants and investment analysts.
“We should have reached some decision on this by the end of this year. Then in 2004 we will put forward the concept and rules, to be followed by another formal consultation. Only then will there be rules that will be enforceable by the supervisor.”

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