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Aegon promises to increase pensions for Dutch miners' schemes

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Aegon has said it plans to increase the pension rights of the 29,000 pensioners and deferred participants of the Dutch miners’ schemes AMF and BFM by 8% and 10%, respectively.

The one-off increase will be paid from the financial buffers the closed schemes were required to maintain by law, in order to provide for nominal pensions.

Insurers do not have to keep such financial reserves.

A spokeswoman said Aegon would be able to spread a number of risks across more than 900,000 participants at 40 pension funds.

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Both Algemeen Mijnwerkersfonds (AMF) and Beambtenfonds voor het Mijnbedrijf (BFM) – which have combined assets of €950m – joined Aegon on 6 August in one of the largest transfers of pension assets to an insurer to date.

AMF had a coverage ratio of 113.7% at July-end, while the BFM’s funding was 106.7% at the time, after a two-stage rights discount of 7.6% in total.

AMF chairman Fer Pfeiffer, speaking for both schemes, said the difference in the rights increase was due to BFM’s having to make proportionally larger financial provisions for costs and longevity risk.

Both pension funds stressed that their administration and service provision would remain with their current provider AZL for at least eight years.

The miners’ schemes originally set up AZL – now an ING subsidiary based in Heerlen – 50 years ago.

The €820m AMF returned 0.5% last year, while BFM’s return was flat in 2013.

AMF and BFM have more than 26,700 and 2,200 participants, respectively.

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