Big Dutch pension funds warn of possible cuts in 2017

old couple pensioners ageThe Netherlands’ two biggest pension funds may have to cut pensions next year because their assets have fallen below central bank approved levels.

The civil service union ABP, which is one of the biggest funds in the world, and the health service fund Zorg & Welzijn both gave the warnings on Thursday at the presentation of their quarterly earnings figures.

While cuts are not necessary this year, ‘the likelihood of a reduction in 2017 has increased’, said APB’s Corien Wortmann-Kool. ‘2016 has had a stormy beginning, with more unease on the financial markets worldwide and falling interest rates.’


‘We want to warn our members that this is a risk,’ said Peter Borgdorff from the healthcare fund. ‘If the rest of the year is stable, we will not have a problem. But if we end up in a negative spiral, it could be that pensions will have to be cut.

Both funds now have a coverage ratio just under 100%, but they should be 104% to meet central bank agreements. By cutting pay outs, the funds can boost their assets back to acceptable levels.

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