NETHERLANDS - The Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds (VB) is lobbying against restrictions imposed by the Staatsen Commission and the government's backing of the commission's recommendations.
The VB will make a presentation to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and is hoping to dissuade the government from going ahead with proposals to cap pension funds’ investments in companies at 20%.
VB director Peter Borgdorff (pictured) said: “We are talking to members of parliament to present our point of view and to explain that the propositions of the ministry are not right. We are hoping that this will result in Mark Rutte issuing a new letter clarifying his stand.”
The association is currently in the process of appointing experts who will present the case on behalf of Dutch pension funds. The parliament is expected to have a separate hearing on the Staatsen Commission’s recommendations shortly.
Borgdorff added: “I don't know if we will succeed because I suspect the junior minister feels that pension funds must stick to their own business. We agree with that but the main question here is what is this secondary business that pension funds must restrain from doing? We think a typical pension fund is bound to have investments in a wide range of assets. So, I think this debate is going to last for sometime.”
The recommendations made by Staatsen Commission and remarks made by the junior minister have aroused widespread dismay among pension funds with ABP, the biggest pension fund in the Netherlands, launching a major offensive against the commission’s recommendations and the statements made by Rutte.
The Staatsen Commission report had recommended curbs on all secondary activities of pensions funds and has proposed a 20% limit on ownership in a company.
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