The Netherlands

This page contains information about the Dutch pensions dashboard.  For details of other countries’ dashboards, see the main International page.

     
The Dutch national pensions dashboard service is Mijnpensioenoverzicht.nl (My Pension Overview), known as MPO:

     
It is run by the Pension Register Foundation (Stichting Pensioenregister (SPR)).  SPR is a non-statutory body, but with legal authority from the Dutch Government, formed by:

     
The SPR Board (Bestuur) delegates delivery of MPO to:

  • Pensions consultancy Montae & Partners
  • Creative communications agency Enof
  • Digital provider Mirabeau (a subsidiary of multinational technology firm Cognizant).

     
Every year, SPR publishes a report about MPO.  Information on this page is taken from the 2019 annual report, published in September 2020:

     
This page looks briefly at MPO’s history, usage and data standards (with links to more detailed information).


History

MPO was launched in 2011 when compulsion legislation came into force on all Dutch pension schemes and providers to make their data available.

Prior to full launch, three “koploper” (“front-runner”) pension providers had helped to get the system working in 2010.

Part of the reason this could be done relatively quickly was because, from 2008, the Netherlands had required schemes to issue standardised annual statements (known as the Uniform Pensioenoverzicht, or UPO).  This included a standard calculation basis for projecting pension income amounts into the future.  The standard UPO information became the basis for the data to be sent to MPO.  See more on this under Data Standards below.

SPR’s ambition to make MPO as usable as possible is symbolised in their values:

After 10 years, it seems this ambition is being achieved.  In 2019, the Dutch Government commissioned a major research project, undertaken by research agency Regioplan, into the effectiveness of all pension communications, including MPO.

Regioplan surveyed over 1,000 Dutch citizens, and their October 2019 research report was presented by letter to the Dutch Parliament in January 2020 by the Minister for Social Affairs and Employment.

The Minister highlighted the key research finding that Dutch citizens want to see their total estimated monthly income at retirement age, net of tax.

The graph below shows the results of Regioplan’s question to research participants about their “Usage of [different] information sources to gain insight into your own pension”:

46% of research participants said they had used MPO (top bar), compared to only 28% who said they had consulted their individual scheme standard statements (UPO) (third bar).

Dutch people are using MPO because it is the only source meeting their key need of seeing their total pension income (which, obviously, individual scheme statements cannot do).

But SPR is not resting on its laurels, setting out five future targets in its strategy for 2020-2022.

One target is to complete the display of both first and second pillar pensions as far as possible (as it’s not quite yet true that MPO always shows a complete total pension income).

Another target is to improve the effectiveness of MPO’s communications with users by making its design, content and functionality more contemporary.  This was reflected in the launch of a completely renewed (“vernieuwd”) look for MPO just last month (May 2021):

 

Usage

The Dutch population is about 17.3 million, with about 13.5 million adults aged 18+.

In 2020, there were around 7.0 million visits to MPO.  Users log in roughly twice a year on average, so 7.0 million visits represents about 3.5 million unique active users (26% of the adult population).

The number of users varies significantly by age, as shown in the graph below, rising dramatically in people’s late 50s and particularly early 60s:

More men (“man” / light blue) than women (“vrouw” / dark blue) use MPO.  The numbers on the left of the graph are in 1,000s  So, for example, in 2019, there were:

  • c1.1 million MPO visits by men aged 61-65
  • c0.7 million MPO visits by women aged 61-65.

     
Finally, SPR publish another set of figures which is very useful: the top 5 topics (“onderwerpen”) which came through to the MPO Service Desk during 2019 (see the table below).  Roughly 20% of these top 22,500 service requests relate to problems logging in to MPO (topic 4) but over 50% are queries raised by users who are not seeing one or more pensions on MPO that they were expecting to see (topics 1 & 2):

     
Data Standards

Data standards for matching people to pensions (“Find”): When MPO was launched in 2011, it had the same standards for matching that are being proposed for the UK, i.e. the dashboard user’s personal details (such as Name and Date of Birth) are passed to all pension schemes and providers who compare against their records to see if they have a pension for the dashboard user.

However, after a couple of years this process was changed.  Now, there is a secure central database (box 3 in the process diagram below) with a record of the schemes and providers where each Dutch citizen has pensions.

(Note: An IORP is an Institution for Occupational Retirement Provision, i.e. a scheme/provider)

Schemes and providers update this central database quarterly.  It is important to understand, as the diagram says, that the database “does not have any data on individual pensions … it is a database of which persons have pension accrued at which IORP”.

This makes retrieving pensions information efficient, as MPO only has to reach out to the dashboard user’s known schemes and providers (as opposed to having to send personal details to every scheme and provider).

A key element that supports this central database is Dutch citizens’ Social Security Number (SSN), a highly reliable unique identifier which is used by the Netherlands c200 pension schemes and providers, between them holding c18m pension entitlements.

Supporting the SSN identification in maintaining the central database, there are also Dutch commercial services which schemes and providers can subscribe to so they are updated with any changes to their members’ / customers’ personal details.  This means that whenever a person, for example, moves house or changes their name, they only update one place, and all organisations with a connection to them have that data change automatically sent to them.  This helps keep the central system highly accurate.

    
Data standards for showing pension income amounts (“View”):
As in many countries, different Dutch pensions come into payment from different dates / at different retirement ages.  MPO find that users do not always fully understand this when they look at their different pension amounts.

In terms of future projections (to these different retirement dates), MPO has really benefited from the 2008 industry-standard calculation basis for projecting pension income amounts.  These amounts, which were already shown on scheme-specific standard statements from 2008, became the basis for the projected pension data to be sent to MPO from 2011.

So there is consistency, both across different pension providers, and between the amounts an individual sees on MPO and on their scheme-specific UPO statements.

 

Data standards maintenance: MPO’s data requirements are defined in data standards governed by SPR, under delegated authority from the Secretary of State.

So the standards aren’t in legislation, which is helpful as they change every couple of years, to both enhance the MPO user experience and to keep pace with wider pensions regulations. 

The standards are governed in accordance with SPR’s internal governance structure, illustrated in the diagram below:

 

Key reflections on the Dutch dashboard with potential relevance for the UK?

  1. People want to see a simple total monthly income at retirement age, ideally net of tax.  Once this is available, they become less interested in scheme-specific statements which can only show individual scheme amounts.  A standard, industry-wide and mandated pension projection basis supports the display of a simple total, but users are still confused by pensions due to come into payment from different dates.     
  2. Older working age adults tend to use dashboards most, with usage increasing dramatically in people’s early 60s as they approach retirement.     
  3. The majority of user issues raised relate to digital identity (25% of top 5 issues) and not seeing pensions they were expecting to see (50% of top 5 issues).     
  4. A central secure database of individuals matched to their pension schemes and providers (facilitated by a genuinely unique national identification number), is an alternative to sending dashboard users’ personal details to every scheme and provider.        
  5. Flexibility of the ongoing governance of data standards enables dashboard services to evolve over time.

 

Page content verified 7 June 2021