The National Associations
Due to the specific nature of the Dutch pension system, two associations of pension funds exist in the Netherlands: The Netherlands Association of Industry-wide Pension funds (Vereniging van Bedrijfspensioen-fondsen, VB) and The Dutch Association of Company Pension Funds (Stichting voor Ondernemingspensioenfondsen, Opf). Both associations have strong connections with each other, and try to co-operate as much as possible.
VB and Opf promote, in the broadest sense of the word, the common interests of industry-wide and company pension funds in the Netherlands and both associations function as consultation partners for the government and other authorities in the pension field. The participants in the board meetings of VB and Opf, are involved in policy-making in the boards of the member funds, which is the main reason for the excellent bond with the members.
Instruments for VB and Opf in fulfilling their tasks are: providing relevant information about and to the member funds (among others by organising conferences and seminars), frequent talks with the organisations that play a part in the pension field and last but not least by maintaining government relations. In those VB and Opf try, in a joint effort if possible, to establish means of understanding between the pension field and the policymakers in parliament
Examples of this are the discussions that took place on the effects of the conversion rules for the legal right of transfer of values and on the legislation regarding the equalisation of pension rights at divorce. Both VB and Opf take part in discussions about market incentives and effects in the pension field. Other recent examples are the input in the National Forum for the introduction of the euro, for which VB and Opf have even established a special platform, and initiatives in the field of corporate