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Conversion by Pension Funds: “This Is How To Do the Conversion”

In this paper, the researchers describe and analyze the process of plan conversion, from the lead-up to the amendment of the pension agreement by the employer (social partners) all the way through to the conversion decision by the pension fund. The conversion decision results in an internal collective value transfer, whereupon the conversion is completed. The goal is to provide guidance in the decision-making…

Choice guidance: putting participants first

“Suboptimal pension choices can be mitigated by effective choice guidance” Choice guidance is currently a hot subject in the Dutch pension sector. This is mainly due to the new open standard about this in the Future Pensions Act that came into force on 1 July 2023. With the new standard, the legislator wants to mitigate the risks of suboptimal choices by participants. Now, pension…

Task demarcation: tenability in future pension system

For more than a hundred years, task demarcation rules have prevented unfair competition between Dutch pension funds and insurers by limiting what pension funds could do. However, this system is now showing cracks. This is due to the arrival of pension providers without domain demarcation and the demands of the Future Pensions Act, where there is a blurring of domain rules and a greater…

Stated product choices of heterogeneous agents are largely consistent with standard models

“Standard theory a solid starting point for individuals to characterize individual preferences for pension products” Under the new Dutch pension law, providers of flexible pension contracts have an important role in nudging participants to adequate choice of pension products based on observable characteristics, such as age, income, non-pension financial wealth, risk aversion, gender and marital status. We analysed data on the choices made by…

Show me my future: Data-Driven Storytelling and Pension Communication

“3D data visualisation, storytelling and gamification can support pension choices” Inform about pension reform, understand how much they have accumulated, and which choices they can make. However, the traditional approach of using written materials to communicate falls short of the mark. Many people do not read or understand documents like the yearly pension overview, and such material does not appeal people who prefer or…

Transfer of entitlements by pensions funds under new Dutch pension law: economic and legal aspects

“Various ambiguities need to be resolved to ensure a balanced transition” With the introduction of the new Dutch pension law, current pension entitlements must be converted into defined contribution schemes before 2028. This is a delicate process because the new law requires a fair transition; in other words, the distribution of risks and benefits should be fair across generations. Therefore, the default for pension…

Measuring sustainability of pension with investment game

“Discovering sustainability preferences with an investment game” Pension funds increasingly want to know exactly what their participants’ preferences are. To find out how sustainable customers really want to invest, this paper discusses the investment game. Participants reveal their real preferences for SRI during the game. 3,700 customers of a British pension fund participated in the investment game. Participants were given £1,000 to invest, choosing…

Trust in parties in the Dutch pension field

“Pension participants must be able to trust parties that communicate with them.” Often pension providers, employers or the government inform participants and support them in making pension decisions. This involves complex matter, which means participants must be able to trust those parties. In this paper, we conducted 46 in-depth interviews with participants, consultants and advisors to identify different factors underlying trust that play a…

Trust in the financial performance of pension funds, public perception, and its effect on participation in voluntary pension saving plans

Did the financial performance of pension funds due to the financial crisis affect trust in pension funds? And does our age, birth cohort or the business cycle affect it too? In this paper, we analyze the effect of exogenous shocks in terms of pension cuts, indexation and how they are perceived. We propose the use of two new instruments. These are the level of…

Shocks to Occupational Pensions and Household Savings

“Worsening financial position of pension plans drives an increase in savings” During the COVID-19 pandemic, the mean statutory funding ratio of the entire Dutch pension sector fell by nearly ten percentage points. A survey by De Nederlandsche Bank (Dutch central bank) at that time revealed that this fall caused many households to fear pension curtailments. Could such shocks also affect pension plan participants’ saving…

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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