BELGIUM - Johan Vanbuylen is retiring as director of FBZ Electriciens, the industrywide pension plan for Belgium's electrical sector.

He will be succeeded by Johan Bourdeaud'hui, who has a background in the reinsurance industry, next week.

Vanbuylen, who has a trade union background, has headed the scheme since its inception in 2002.

"I came from the social organisations but I insisted that my successor have a financial background," he said. "We need to have inhouse financial expertise."

Vanbuylen and Bourdeaud'hui have worked in tandem during a transition phase since November.

FBZ Electriciens is one of the sector pension schemes established in the run-up to the 2003 Vandenbroucke Law, named after the pensions minister of the day, which was intended to boost Belgium's underdeveloped second pillar pensions market.

The scheme has 40,000 members, 25,000 active and 15,000 sleepers, and €32m under management.

"It has grown very rapidly," Vanbuylen told IPE. "We started with a low level of contributions of 1.36% of a salary. But the trade unions are going to demand an increase to 3% at the next collective bargaining round.

"We had calculated that with the current funding level the scheme would reach around €100m but if we go to 3% we are talking about more than doubling the assets under management in five years," said Vanbuylen.