NETHERLANDS – Participants in Dutch pension funds appear to be more concerned by the services their scheme offers than their fund's financial position, according to a recent survey.

A survey by research bureau TNS Nipo of 18,500 participants at 17 pension funds – in cooperation with the Pensions Federation – found that a scheme's coverage ratio was far less important to participants than pension arrangements or services offered.

The survey found that participants were least pleased with the financial results of their own pension funds, regardless of its actual financial position.

Julie Visser, senior consultant at TNS Nipo said: "The research showed that the majority of pension funds enjoy much faith among their participants.

"They more often question the sustainability of the entire pensions system than the sustainability of their own pension fund."

According to TNS Nipo, participants see information provision at most pension funds as "positive", but it acknowledged that this hardly affected their overall contentment about their own schemes.

Although in the opinion of the participants, communications could be improved, the measures deemed necessary strongly differed for each pension fund, and therefore required a tailor-made approach, TNS Nipo said.

It also found that pensioners were generally more satisfied on almost all pension issues than active participants, with under 40s being the least content.

The survey focused on several aspects of communications and participants' appreciation of services provided.

In addition, the researchers looked at the extent to which respondents were susceptible to pensions information, their loyalty to their pension fund and their confidence in the collective pensions system.

Previously, TNS Nipo's Benchmark Research Platform for Pensions found that participants had more confidence in their own pension funds than in the entire Dutch pensions system.