The Dutch government has exempted corporate pension funds from new International Financial Reporting Standards.
In an unexpected move, the Dutch minister of Justice, Piet Hein Donner, has decided that financial institutions that are not traded on the stock exchange, are to be exempted from IFRS rules.
This proposal represents a 180-degree change of the policy put in place by finance minister Gerrit Zalm in 2000. Zalm had wanted all financial institutions to implement IFRS in 2005. Financial institutions and pension funds will now not have to comply to IFRS rules, according to Egbert Eeftink, partner at accounting firm KPMG.
Jeroen Steenvoorden, director of the OPF, the Dutch Association of Company Pension Funds, told IPE that the new ruling would not have a large impact on the overall performance and operations of the pension funds. He said that the most likely real impact would be that the total administrative workload would be less than expected and that funds would have a little bit more leeway in the short term.
In the longer term, however, all still needs to be seen. In the view of the OPF, which is backed by Peter Borgdorff, director of the Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds, the VB, Donner’s proposal will mean no real changes.
In relation to the overall membership of both associations, most pension funds have not even implemented the standards.