NETHERLANDS - Dutch pensions are set to rise by 0.4% on average to correct for wage and price increases, the latest quarterly bulletin by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) revealed.
The central bank - and pension funds watchdog - said the size of the indexation lagged behind the ambition of pension funds, which is based on the wage and price increases realised in the previous year.
According to the national statistics office Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, inflation was 0.9% in 2009.
DNB said: "The financial position of pension funds does not allow for a larger indexation as yet. Since the summer of 2007, this position has been affected by the depreciation of investments and the lower interest rates."
However, it added recovering stock market prices made 2009 a "better year for pension funds" than 2008. DNB data showed the overall nominal funding ratio rose from 95% to 109% last year.
The central bank also said combined pension contributions by employers and employees in 2010 will rise from 16% to 16.4% of employee remuneration.
Separately, Dutch largest pension fund ABP committed US$30m to Grassroots Capital's Global Microfinance Equity Fund (GMEF), a microfinance private equity fund.
With this investment, ABP's microfinance program to invest in both microfinance debt and private equity amounts to US$215m.
Jan van Roekel, senior portfolio manager at APG - the asset manager of ABP - said: "This kind of investment is particularly suitable for a pension fund, as it aims to achieve double bottom line returns by investing capital in start-up and intermediate microfinance institutions."
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