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PGGM appeals against DNB levensloop fine

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NETHERLANDS - Dutch health care pension fund PGGM says it will appeal against the fine it received from pension regulator De Nederlandsche Bank over the sale of levensloop, or “life course” products.

The DNB, the pension sector supervisor, fined PGGM and fellow pension giant ABP for promoting the products via their respective subsidiaries Careon and Loyalis.

The move followed complaints by the Union of Insurers that pension funds should not promote commercial activities. According to PGGM, the appeal against the fine has been rejected by the DNB.

The funds, which contest the interpretation of the rules, say they have put in place changes requested by the supervisor in their member communications regarding the products.

In a separate development, ABP’s Loyalis has stated that it has been awarded the levensloop arrangements of the Dutch police. The Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs has, via a tender procedure, chose Loyalis out of six bidders.

Despite all this apparent activity, it appears that interest in levensloop is minimal in the wider world.

Research done by TNS-NIPO and Dutch financial radio and news-site RTL found that only around 5% of all employees has opted to take part in the new arrangements.

Dutch financial institutions Rabobank and Achmea have stated that the start of levensloop arrangements is below expectations. Only at some Dutch companies, such as AkzoNobel, life course arrangements have been a success. Akzo reported to the press that 40% of total employees have opted to take part.

As one participant stated “2006 is already a lost year”. Interested parties have until July 1 to opt for levensloop products. Around 7m employees are able to opt to take part.

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