NETHERLANDS - The PGGM and ABP pension funds could be fined by the Dutch central bank (DNB) over an alleged mis-promotion of levensloop schemes offered by their subsidiaries, an allegation dismissed today by the funds.
A complaint regarding the mode in which these schemes were marketed through the funds’ subsidiaries, ABP’s Loyalis and PGGM’s Careon, was lodged with the DNB by the Dutch Association of Insurers (Verbond van Verzekeraars). The DNB has written to both pension funds as a result.
A spokesman for the association said the promotion of levensloop products via the subsidiaries was: “Not right, because they communicate through their members of the pension fund. They are not allowed to publish emails, and newsletters to propagate the levensloop arrangement...the consumer must be allowed choice.
He claimed the pension funds were restricted from promoting the levensloop products by Dutch law. The law does not restrict them from offering such products via a subsidiary.
But a spokesman for ABP rejected the claims: “It’s not the product that they are aiming at but the way we advertise that product,” he said.
“They think we trespassed the law in this respect and we don’t. We think we did everything right.”
He added ABP had consulted with the Hague to ensure that it had interpreted the ruling (enshrined under Wet VPL) correctly.
“The product is only for our members while other providers such as banks and insurance companies sell them all over to anyone interested in them, and to our members as well. We think there is a level playing field and that we are not doing anything wrong.”
A spokesman for PGGM, the pension fund for healthcare and social workers, would not comment as discussions with the DNB were still underway.
The DNB is expected to decide on the issue at the end of January.
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