Dutch Pensions Ombudsman raises concerns over 14 funds that do not offer clear information for disabled participants

The Dutch Pensions Ombudsman has said it is “worrying” that 14 of the country’s pension funds do not provide “clear” information on their website for those that are incapacitated and unable to work.

In the Netherlands, many pension schemes have the rule that if you are permanently incapacitated for work and therefore can no longer work, you will still continue to accrue a pension. You receive pension accrual as if you were still working without paying a premium for it but there is usually a one- to two-year period in which you have to let the fund know, or you can miss out.

In its 2019 annual report, the Pensions Ombudsman, Henriëtte de Lange, called on pension fund boards to formulate a reasonable policy on how to deal with people who do not request a waiver of premium in the event of incapacity for work and to put this on the website.

Its latest analysis found that the majority have complied, but 14 still do not have clear information on their website for members. Of 125 funds surveyed, 113 pension funds provide information about waiving the premium in the event of occupational disability.

For 69 pension funds, the incapacitated participant does not have to do anything and the fund itself requests information from the UWV and ensures that the participant receives this non-contributory pension accrual. For 34 funds, the participant still has to take action themselves but is often proactively reminded of this.

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