NETHERLANDS – The €4.7bn Stichting Pensioenfonds Akzo Nobel has signed an outsourcing agreement with the Eureko Group.

IPE reported in June last year that the Dutch healthcare, coatings and chemicals group was understood to be looking to outsource its pension responsibilities in a Philips-style deal.

Now the two parties have said the agreement would become effective on September 1 2006. The fund’s general manager Lex Bolwerk told IPE that the fund needs still to receive the approval of the social partners and the Social Economic Council.

Bolwerk and Rob Prins, chairman of the fund’s trustee board, say the main reason for the move is increased complexity – at a time when the total amount of members is falling. The outsourcing deal would guarantee cost effective management of the fund.

Reinoud van den Broek, Eureko’s director of pensions, said the move fitted with its own strategy to increase its market share in the corporate pension fund sector.