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Belgian municipality to set up ‘silver fund’

BELGIUM - The Belgian municipality Merelbeke is looking to put a mandate of €1.2m (£807,840) in to a so-called ‘Silver Fund', according to an official notification.

The fund, a budgetary arrangement to set aside money for future pension obligations, will act as a pension reserve fund in order to make provision for expenditures linked to the expected rise in pension liabilities.

The assets will be set aside for the municipality managers' pensions, which the council pays from its own resources, and for the civil servants' pensions, which are arranged by the Belgian social security body RSZPPO.

As the number of pensions, which will need to be paid from accumulated assets, is expected to rise steeply in the next few years, the Silver Fund will ensure that reserves are invested to give a guaranteed return, a minimum of around 3.25%, according to a spokesman for Merelbeke.

While the mandate will go to the most advantageous tender financially, qualifying applicants are required to have more than €5m of pension assets under management.

The municipality expects bank-insurers that are specialised in managing assets on this basis to tender. There is no consultant or adviser involved, a spokesman said.

Tenders or requests to participate should be in Dutch. The deadline for the tender is March 1, and the council expects to that have awarded the mandate by the beginning of June.

Elsewhere, Belgian municipality of Koksijde has awarded Dexia Insurances, one of the three participants that tendered last year, with a mandate to run its €2m silver fund.

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