The sustainability of the task demarcation in the future pension system

The division of tasks between pension funds and other pension providers, in particular insurers, consists of rules regarding domain and product demarcation for pension funds. The rules are partly based on EU law; this concerns in particular the rule that a pension fund only carries out activities related to pension (Article 116 of the Pensions Act, the prohibition of ancillary activities, based on Directive 2016/2341/EU – IORP/IORP). The rules regarding the demarcation also arise from the interpretation of Dutch insights into market regulation, partly inspired by the idea that pension funds should not be able to compete “unfairly” with, in particular, insurers.

There are developments that raise the question whether the rules of task delineation might be in need of recalibration. These developments raise the question whether the objective of the task delineation is still being achieved and, if not, whether changes – including the supervision of task delineation – are desirable or necessary. The research aims to:

  1. provide insight into how the developments have (had) impact on the market position of the various pension providers, in particular the pension funds;
  2. analyse the impact of EU law on the rules of task delineation;
  3. answer the question whether the rules of task delineation are sustainable regarding a) the legal framework (especially EU law), b) the objective of market organisation.

When different visions or legal lines of thought are possible, this will be clarified with the substantiation of the underlying interpretations.

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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