THE NETHERLANDS - The Dutch social affairs minister, Aart Jan de Geus , has said that FTK, the new financial assessment framework, is finalised and that he does not anticipate a delay in implementation.
FTK is due to be implemented on 1 January, 2006.
Speaking to Global Pensions, the minister commented: “There is a strange debate in Holland, and I have to say that I wonder if this cloud of unknowing that they [pension funds] pretend to see is real.”
Rumours have been circulating in the Dutch market that the implementation date will be delayed due to the political process that still needs to occur.
Responding to the possibility of delaying the implementation of FTK, de Geus said: “I don’t think so. FTK is finalised. There is no fiscal element in it. The decision-making is finalised, it is accepted in the parliament and it is accepted by the social partners. I already did my part, but the DNB has to concrete some of their working processes for the people [pension funds] who have to obey the rules.”
De Geus confirmed that the DNB still had some issues to work through with pension funds, but this was to do with working rules and processes.“We do this also in dialogue with the industry and this takes some time, but it’s not of influence about when to introduce the FTK.”
Despite the minister’s determination to have the regulations in place in 2006, the legislative timetable to a certain extent is outside of his control and leads several sources to suggest that the deadline is “ambitious”.
The Pension Law, of which the FTK is a part, is scheduled to go to the Council of State, which is the body that advises government and parliament on legislation, following the summer recess mid this year.
The law then needs to be passed in the lower and upper houses some time in the second half of the year.
FTK is the new Financial Assessment Framework for pension funds and insurers, which has been in the making since September 2002.
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