NETHERLANDS - SPT, the €1.4bn scheme for dentists and dentist specialists, has won an injunction forcing its occupational pension association (BPVT) to co-operate on proposals for joint decision-making and the appointment of new board members.

SPT's board said it had tried in vain for more than a year to obtain the BPVT's co-operation and that it had been forced to start summary proceedings to break the deadlock.

The scheme has recommended merging the co-decision-making responsibilities of the BPVT and the scheme's accountability body into a single organisation of participants.

However, according to SPT, the occupational body's board wants to keep its considerable right of say, "despite the fact its general meeting decided otherwise last year".

SPT officials also claimed the BPVT's lack of initiative had led to continuity problems at the scheme's board, as the occupational body has refrained from consulting its members about new candidates.
As a result, the seats of chairman and secretary are now formally vacant, after their three-year term expired on 26 January.

SPT has been a closed scheme since 1997. Because a large number of dentists have concluded pension arrangements with insurers, the scheme has been exempted from (dormant) mandatory participation as of 1 July 2010.

SPT said the new situation no longer necessitated an occupational pension association.

The BPVT, which could not be contacted, must organise a general meeting for the necessary decision-making before 1 April.

Last November, SPT announced a benefits cut of more than 10% to recover from a funding shortfall after its coverage ratio dropped to 88% at the end of September.