NETHERLANDS – Dutch healthcare scheme PGGM says it is the first in the country to introduce a new and more transparent statement of pension rights for its clients.

This month its almost one million members will receive a much more simple summary of their rights, which will also consist of an estimate of the net pension.

According to the €62bn scheme, the new statement, in combination with the existing online pension planner, will offer members a complete and clear view on their pension situation. “The information will enable them to take additional provisions.”

PGGM’s new statement has also been adjusted to the changes of its pension scheme as of January 1 2006, when the pre-pension will disappear. From then healthcare workers will be building-up a larger old-age pension.

The Dutch association of industry-wide pension funds, the VB, the foundation of company pension funds, OPF, and the Dutch Association of Insurers, are developing a new and uniform new statement for collective pensions, a spokeswoman of VB told IPE.

“The new summary is supposed to be presented in October and will come into force in 2006”, she added.

A yearly statement of pension rights is mandatory for Dutch pension funds. The new financial assessment rules, or FTK, prescribe more transparency in the communication to members. Consumers’ organisation Consumentenbond has been lobbying for more comprehensible statements for years.

Meanwhile, a member of the employers’ board of civil service scheme ABP has criticised the new pensions agreement between civil servants and the government’s employers, calling it ‘too expensive’.

“Government employers who need to finance an expensive pensions package will loose their competitiveness on the labour market,” said Hans Wenneker in the daily Het Financieele Dagblad.

He pointed at the adjustments for the pre-pension. “Government employers have difficulties in concluding new collective labour agreements. This is partly caused by too little space for salary rise, which isn’t even sufficient for compensating the increased pension premiums of ABP”, he argued. “Less buying power causes new salary demands.”