Your pension, your future
Love your future. Shell Pension.
Your pension, your future
Love your future. Shell Pension.

November 2020

Changes in laws and regulations

New laws and regulations at European and national level

From 10 March 2021, new European laws and regulations will apply to providing information concerning the sustainability of investments. This regulation is called the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). But what does this entail?

The SFDR is part of the European Commission's Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth. In addition to the SFDR, this Action Plan proposes, among others, rules on sustainable classifications (taxonomies) and sustainable benchmarks of investments. 

Sustainable finance is the EU's response to transpose obligations arising from the Paris climate agreement into regulations for the financial markets. The EU regulations should help investors to make well-informed investment decisions with a view to the climate transition and thus create a level playing field. 

As a result of the SFDR, SSPF will transparently inform its participants about how the fund invests sustainably and how negative sustainability effects are taken into account in making investment decisions.

Taxonomy Regulation

Another consequence of the Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth is the introduction of a harmonised classification system ('taxonomy') to determine what qualifies as sustainable economic activity. Within the EU, this regulation will come into force on 1 January 2022. What does this actually mean? Steps are being taken to make sustainable investment the norm. The regulations aim for more transparency on the sustainability of investments by providing unambiguous definitions and guidelines. From now on, SSPF must show what percentage of its investments, according to this classification, is actually sustainable. This prevents organisations from pretending to be more sustainable or greener than they actually are. Following on from this, investors who wish to invest in activities with a positive environmental impact will receive information about this.

"Sustainable finance is the EU's response to translate obligations arising from the Paris climate agreement into rules for the financial markets"

New Dutch legislation

As a result of the recently reached Pension Agreement, a number of components of the legislation will change, including the option for the participants to withdraw part of their pension in one go: the so-called "lump sum". This will allow for more tailor-made decisions  when it comes to employment related pensions. For example, SSPF participants, under certain conditions, will be given the option of withdrawing a maximum of 10 percent of their accrued pension capital in one go on the retirement date. This part of the legislation is expected to come into force on 1 January 2023.

Pension Equalisation Act in case of divorce

This bill contains new regulations for dividing pensions in the event of a divorce. These new regulations are more transparent for our participants than the current regulations. According to the bill, ex-partners will receive their own entitlement to retirement pension after the divorce, as a result of which the ex-partners will no longer be dependent on each other for their pensions. SSPF arranges this division automatically for its participants who are divorced, unless the participants want to deviate from this standard arrangement. Also, the special partner's pension will only be calculated over the marriage period. Currently, the pre-marital period is also taken into account. The new regulations will apply to divorces from the date this act comes into force. The government currently plans to have the new law come into force on 1 January 2023.