NETHERLANDS - The €71.5bn (US$94.3bn) PFZW pension fund has confirmed it will freeze pension increases for a total of four years in a bid to restore solvency.
He said the health service pension fund had decided to suspend indexation for a further three years, in addition to this year's pension freeze already announced.
"[With] no indexation for three more years, the pension fund will recover in the five year period. But if conditions change, if growth doesn't return for example, then other measures could be taken," Uitdenbogaard added.
Under Dutch law, pension funds with a coverage ratio of less than 105% must submit a recovery plan to the pensions regulator, De Nederlandsche Bank, by 1 April 2009 detailing how the fund will return to the 'minimum' solvency level within three years.
At the end of November 2008, the fund's solvency ratio had fallen to 96% from over 126% at the end of September.
The Dutch government decided to extend the recovery period to five years, following widespread fears the initial three year period would be insufficient for many funds to return to solvency (Globalpensions.com; 23 February 2009).
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