Pension fund management costs rise by €1.5bn

Dutch pension funds saw the cost of fund management rise by €1.5bn in 2012, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

That is a 0.53% rise against an increase of 0.38% in 2011, bringing the cost of fund management to €4.5bn, the paper says, quoting figures from research carried out by actuarial advisors Lane, Clark & Peacock (LCP).

The company researched 280 pension funds which together account for 97% of the total Dutch pension pot.

According to LCP, most of the increase in fees can be accounted for by higher bonuses to fund managers. Bonuses are linked to returns and the average return in 2012 was 13.6%, says the company.

For instance, civil service pension fund ABP paid around €650m in bonuses to fund managers. ‘Bonuses did rise in 2012, but that is a good sign,’ a spokesman told LCP. ‘At least returns were high.’

Some pension funds accounted for the rise by telling LCP that the standard of reporting costs has improved. This was something called for by the financial services watchdog AFM in a critical report in 2011.

LCP says that report had an effect. In 2012, 86% of pension funds were transparent in their reporting compared with 71% in 2011.

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