NETHERLANDS - Benne van Popta, chairman of the Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds (VB), has spoken out against reshaping the financial assessment framework (FTK) to place a stronger focus on ‘real' pension promises.

"I am critical of showing a real pension," said Van Popta, the employers representative at the VB and chairman of the pension fund of Dutch retailers, during the ALM 2008 conference in Amsterdam today.

He added: "A real assessment framework is not what we should do," arguing against a move away from the current system which reveals only minimum pensions in nominal figures, rather than showing exactly how much benefits will buy.

According to Theo Nijman, van Lanschot professor of Investment Theory at Tilburg Universitz and chair of the Scientific Board at Dutch pensions research institute Netspar, the difference between the market value of a nominal and a real pension is often over 30%.

But earlier in the day, Klaas Knot, director of supervisory policy at the Dutch pension regulator DNB and newly-appointed to CEIOPS' managing committee, claimed a real cover ratio is useful as a communication tool between pension funds and their members.

Also speaking at the conference, Casper van Ewijk, of the Dutch central planning bureau and member of Netspar, argued a combination of real ambition with a nominal framework would require a reform of the current FTK, introduced in 2006.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Carolyn Bandel on +44 (0)20 7261 4622 or email