The Dutch general pension funds (algemeen pensioenfonds or APF) saw their combined assets under management increase by no less than 73% to almost €17bn last year.

With €6.6bn, Stap – the consolidation vehicle established by insurer Aegon and its subsidiary TKP Pensions – is still by far the largest provider, but the competition is catching up, a survey by Dutch pensions publication PensioenPro has revealed.

Het Nederlandse Pensioenfonds of insurer ASR is runner up, with €3.8bn of assets under management, followed by Centraal Beheer APF (Achmea) and De Nationale APF (NN Group), with €3.2bn and €3bn, respectively.

Last year, the four APFs welcomed eight company pension funds in total.

Gerard Frankema, director of Stap, attributed the growth of his organisation slowing down to “missing out on attracting a few large pension funds”.

“However, we are still open to new clients and are currently in discussions with potential customers,” he said.

De Nationale APF attracted the largest customer in terms of assets, with the €1.8bn pension fund of automobile organisation ANWB joining with 12,000 participants.

Het Nederlandse Pensioenfonds was joined by the company schemes Randstad and Owase, which added €900m and €1.2bn, respectively. Randstad joined with 12,000 participants.

Last year, the Centraal Beheer APF expanded with the pension funds Equens (€700m), Sligro (€370m) and Chemours (€330m).

Assets at Volo, the APF established by PGGM, rose to €325m. However, PGGM has decided to cease operating the vehicle to focus on its core tasks as a pensions provider for the care sector instead. Its current two clients, Ortec and the former pension fund Jan Huysman, are still seeking another provider.

The Delta Lloyd APF is still in liquidation, and following the take-over of Delta Lloyd by NN which has its own APF, it has no further assets.

The former offices of Delta Lloyd in Amsterdam

Delta Lloyd’s APF is in liquidation, following the takeover by NN, which has its own APF

Despite the significant growth in assets, combined assets under management of the APFs represented only a limited part of the €1.56trn of total Dutch second pillar assets at the end of October.

However, assets managed by APFs now exceed those of the low-cost defined contribution vehicles (PPI), whose combined assets stood at €11.3bn at the end of October.

Based on the number of participants, the Centraal Beheer APF is now the largest player on the APF market. It saw the total number of participants increase by 66% to 157,000.

The four remaining consolidation vehicles said they expect to attract at least six new pension funds, representing €2bn of assets, in 2020.

With these new customers, their total annual contribution volume will increase to €361m.

Centraal APF and Stap said they expected to be part of at least 15 and 10 tenders, respectively, for new clients.

Het Nederlandse Pensioenfonds added it had already signed three declarations of intent for value transfer of €200m in total for 2020.

Roel Knol, executive trustee at De Nationale APF, said “several pension funds had started moving, as clarity about the elaboration of the pensions agreement seems to be increasing”.