Aegon and its asset management and pensions subsidiary TKP are to set up a ‘general pension fund’, or APF, in the Netherlands.
Ten pension funds have already shown a “concrete interest’’ in joining the new vehicle, according to Maarten Edixhoven, director of pensions at Aegon Netherlands.
He said five companies with insured pension arrangements were also considering the APF as an alternative, “as they face price increases of up to dozens of percentage points due to falling interest rates’’.
An APF allows for multiple pension plans to be implemented within a single scheme, overseen by a single independent board, while ring-fencing assets.
The aim is to cut implementation costs through the benefits of scale.
However, the APF’s introduction has been postponed to 1 January 2016, as Jetta Klijnsma, state secretary for Social Affairs, needed more time to flesh out details of the legal proposals.
Aegon pointed out that participating parties will not have to pay for a guarantee and claimed that the prospects for indexation were improved, although it acknowledged that the APF would be subject to the new financial assessment framework.
Edixhoven said lower board costs would lead to an overall cost reduction for small and medium-sized pension funds of 30%.
The APF – called Stap – will consist of three rings initially, each with its own indexation target and matching investment policy.
TKP is to carry out administration for the APF’s clients, while TKP Investments will be responsible for fiduciary management, possibly together with several external asset managers.
Aegon said the Dutch regulator would still need to screen the trustees, adding that none of them was employed by the insurer or TKP.
Edixhoven added that Stap’s board would be entitled to change its administrator and asset manager if need be.