NETHERLANDS - The coverage ratios of Dutch pension funds have improved to 111.2% on an average at end 2003 from 106.5% at end 2002, according to the Dutch Association of Pension Funds (VB).
However, the association said that eight funds had a cover deficit relative to the minimum prescribed by the regulator Pensioen & Verzekeringskamer (PVK). The PVK requires funds to bring coverage levels to a minimum of 105%.
The deficits of funds considered to have an inadequate cover ratio added up to e79m. At the end of 2002, VB member funds with inadequate cover ratios had a combined funding deficit of under e1.6bn.
The eight pension funds are: Agrarische en Voedselvoorzieningshandel, Bedrijfspensioenfonds; Federatief Pensioenfonds, Stichting; Herwinning Grondstoffen, Bedrijfstakpensioenfonds; Horeca en Catering, Pensioenfonds; Media PNO, St Bedrijfstakpensioenfonds voor de; Rubber- en Kunststoffenindustrie, Pensioenfonds voor de; Textielreiniging, Bedrijfspensioenfonds; Uitvaarbranche, Bedrijfspensioenfonds.
Assets of pension funds amounted to a combined e312bn which is equivalent to the 2/3 of the assets accrued by all the Dutch pension funds taken together. Funds’ assets rose by e29bn over the year 2003.
Their pension overall liabilities, including general risks reserves, rose by e16bn and added up to e285bn.
The association said that the funds held e27bn more in reserve than strictly required.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.