NETHERLANDS - The Dutch Association of industry-wide pension funds (VB) has appointed Gerard Riemen as its new director.

Riemen, 44, is currently director for policy implementation at the ministry of Social Affairs and until last year he was head of the ministry's pensions department.

"With this appointment, we have contracted an authority within the pensions world," VB said in a statement.

"Riemen stands for the Netherlands' unique pension system. Moreover, he has good relationships with players in the sector, which is very important for our members' future," commented Willem Noordman, VB's employees' chairman.

The new VB director started working at Social Affairs' in 1990 and has spent over 10 years in its pensions department.

He has been closely involved in setting up the new financial assessment framework FTK, the new Pension Act and the Pension Covenant between the government and the Labour Foundation Star.

According to VB, the new director will take up his post no later than 1 June but Riemen was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

Riemen will fill the role vacated by Peter Borgdorff, who moved to the €88bn healthcare pension fund Zorg en Welzijn, which has contracted out its asset management and administration to PGGM, in December.

VB is the lobby organization of 82 industry-wide pension funds, representing the interests of 4.7m workers, 1.2m pensioners and 6.8m deferred participants, or over 75% of the total number of participants in collective schemes. The assets of VB's members total approximately €500bn.