On 16 July 2014, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of €4,687 on Stichting Notarieel Pensioenfonds (SNPF). This fine was imposed because SNPF failed to provide termination information to former participants in the period of 01 January 2010 to the start of March 2013.
The AFM has determined that in the period of 01 January 2010 to the start of March 2013, SNPF failed to provide 426 participants with the information prescribed by law in due time upon termination of their participation.
This means that SNPF violated Section 59(1) in conjunction with Section 50(1) of the Occupational Pension Scheme (Obligatory Membership) Act (Wvb). SNPF has since taken measures to prevent the violation from being repeated.
Pension administrators are required to provide former participants with termination information in due time. This allows the former participant to make an informed and well-considered decision concerning, inter alia, the question whether he wishes to transfer his pension value; they are then able to request an offer from the receiving pension administrator for a request for a value transfer in due time.
Transfer of the value that has been accrued
The transferring pension administrator is obliged to transfer the accrued value to another pension administrator if the participant requests an offer from the receiving pension administrator within six months after accrual of the pension entitlements as part of the pension scheme administered by the receiving pension administrator and thereafter makes a request for a value transfer to the receiving pension administrator. A group of participants will start new employment immediately after the former employment ends and accrue pension as part of the new employment.
It is very important for these participants to receive the termination information within six months after termination of their participation so that they can make an informed and well-considered decision. The AFM therefore considers that termination information has not been sent on time by the pension administrator in any event if it has not been sent before expiry of a term of six months after the participant's participation ended.
Amount of the fine
The basic amount of the fine for the violation that has been established is €500,000. The AFM has mitigated this amount on the basis of reduced culpability on the part of SNPF (SNPF adopted a proactive attitude), the size of the fund and in order to limit the damage sustained by third parties as a result of the fine because a fine imposed on a pension administrator will be entirely for the account of the pension participants.
Interested parties can submit the AFM's judgment contained in the decision to the courts for review. If you have questions or complaints, please contact the AFM's Financial Markets Information Line: 0800-5400 540 (free of charge).
The AFM is committed to promoting fair and transparent financial markets.
As an independent market conduct authority, we contribute to a sustainable financial system and prosperity in the Netherlands.