New ABP chairman under fire for ‘inexperience’

The new chairman of the Dutch civil service pension fund, the third biggest pension fund in the world, has come under fire for being inexperienced and having too many other jobs on the side.

Ed Nijpels, a Liberal party stalwart and former queen’s commissioner in Friesland, took over at ABP on August 1. The pension fund had €200bn in assets before the start of the economic crisis but has been forced to raise its premiums to boost its coverage ratio, which fell to 83% earlier this year.
But Kees de Lange, chairman of the pensioners lobby group NBP, told a tv show on Tuesday evening that ‘Nijpels is not suitable to do the job’ which the crisis has made necessary.
‘There is a crisis of confidence and you cannot solve that with a part-timer. People participating in the pension fund deserve better,’ he said.
But the fund’s deputy chairman Xander den Uyl said Nijpels lack of expertise in pensions was not an issue. ‘The chairman of the board has to know what is going on, but he does not need to get involved in the details,’ Den Uyl said. ‘The chairman has to ensure the board takes good decisions and we wanted someone with a network in the Hague.’

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