Pensioenfederatie, the Dutch the association of Dutch pension funds, is calling on AFM – the country’s Authority for the Financial Markets – to mainly focus on comprehensible communication from pension funds about sustainability.

The pensions federation is conveying this message in a consultation with the regulator on a new Sustainability Claims Guide. The draft version of the guideline is based on various starting points, including factually correct, concrete and therefore comprehensible communication.

Pensioenfederatie believes the basic principles are logical, but noted that they can clash with each other.

“The sustainability aspects of investment policy are complex and differ per asset class. It is impossible to communicate very precisely about this and at the same time to match the level of knowledge of the average participant. The vast majority of participants quickly shy away from complex and large amounts of information,” the federation stated.

“Of course, this does not mean that pension funds communicate factually incorrectly or vaguely about sustainability, but only that, as far as the Pensioenfederatie is concerned, these principles can be placed in an in-depth layer,” it continued.

In addition, European regulations already require a great deal of precise and concrete information under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). In this way, interested participants and stakeholders can always view the policy on socially responsible investment at a more detailed level.

The AFM is expected to publish the final version of the guidance after the summer and then use it to monitor pension funds’ communications under the Future Pensions Act.

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