NETHERLANDS - Insurer Aegon has introduced an account for the ‘levensloop’, or life-course, scheme which offers the possibility of saving as well as investing, it said.

Besides the savings variant, participants can have their levensloop balance being invested, with or without the deposit guarantee, Aegon added in a statement.

One of the two investment possibilities developed by the insurer, offers participants a choice – fitting within his risk profile - from Aegon investment funds. Participants can order purchases themselves, or can commission to automatic investment based on a set ratio.

At ‘profile investing’, the insurer assists in managing the investment portfolio. Clients can select from four different risk profiles, in which Aegon will invest with decreasing risk as the end date approaches, it explained. In addition, participants can insure themselves for receiving at least the deposit.

Aegon’s clients will be able to monitor and manage their levensloop accounts via the internet. The insurer will offer the product via both employers and its intermediaries.

According to Aegon, a survey has indicated that most of the workers want their employer to offer them a collective levensloop scheme, and that 48% of the questioned workers will, probably or for sure, use their levensloop account for early retirement. Only 31% percent has other purposes in mind, e.g. a sabbatical or care leave.

Recently, the Dutch Association of Insurers has accused the large pension funds ABP and PGGM of false play, because of their actively marketing of the levensloop products of their subsidiary companies. The market of levensloop products is estimated at €2bn a year.