The board of €30.6bn metal scheme PME said it was still assessing options for additional recovery measures after reporting a funding shortfall of 0.9 percentage points at year-end.

“A rights cut would be the ultimate emergency measure,” it said in an explanation of its fourth-quarter report, adding that it would clarify its position further at the end of February.

Last year, PME had to discount pensions rights by 5.1% to stay on course for recovery to the required minimum funding of 104.3%.

The scheme attributed its annual result of 0.9% to its low-risk investment policy, adopted due its relatively weak financial position.

According to the pension fund, it returned 18.7% on its 31% equity allocation, but lost 3.1% on its fixed income investments, which account for 61% of assets.

Property and alternatives generated annual returns of 1.3% and -4.8%, respectively.

It added that it lost 2% on the 55% interest hedge on its liabilities, as a consequence of rising interest rates.

Meanwhile, the €48.3% metal scheme PMT, which had to cut pension rights by 6.3% last year, said it would not apply a rights discount again.

It based its decision on its current funding surplus of 0.2 percentage points, following an increase in its coverage ratio of 0.6 percentage points to 104.4% during January.

PMT reported an annual return of 1%.

The €38.5bn industry-wide scheme for the building industry, BpfBouw, did not publish its annual return but said its funding increased to 111.6% at year-end.

However, the pension fund stressed that it remained cautious and had decided to refrain from indexation.

“We have opted for a balance in dividing up the financial burden between current and future generations of pensioners,” the board said.