Tuesday 03 August 2021

Biggest Dutch pension funds are in better shape, cuts can be avoided

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The five largest Dutch pension funds have sufficient assets to meet future obligations and will be able to avoid making cuts, according to figures released by the industry on Thursday.

The funding ratios of the five largest Dutch pension funds are all above 100%. This is the ratio between the money a fund has to pay in future pension obligations and the value of the assets it currently controls.

Civil servants fund ABP (the country’s largest), healthcare fund PFZW, building sector fund bpfBOUW and funds for the metal and technology industry PME and PMT all reported good news on Thursday.

Experts say the improved financial positions of the funds is primarily due to somewhat higher interest rates on the capital markets as well as better performance on the stock market.

The industry was hit hard by the pandemic and last year warned that benefits might be cut. Pension funds are required by law to maintain a certain ratio and must make cuts if their cash reserves drop.

The improvement, however, isn’t enough to offer an increase in pension payouts. ‘For the first time in a long time, I can say that the chance of a pension reduction next year is very small, but a pension increase is really not in sight yet,’ ABP chairwoman Corien Wortmann-Kool told NOS.

The Dutch pension system is currently based on three pillars – the state pension AOW, compulsory corporate pension schemes – either sector-wide or company based – and individual or private pension schemes.

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