NETHERLANDS - ABP-head Eelco Brinkman believes there are opportunities for Dutch industry-wide second pillar pension funds, such as ABP, to export elements of their practices to other countries.

ABP is merging with Cordares - already operating in Italy - so when asked if it would consider taking the lead example in pensions overseas, Brinkman said "one does look across the border, but at which countries you will hear at a later stage".

Brinkman, chairman of the governing board at the €220bn ABP scheme and a prominent former politician, told delegates at today's Fortis pension fund seminar in Utrecht such a step would depend on how the current legislation will develop.

"As governing board of ABP, we are in internal discussions about what we want and don't want, but you cannot do everything at once," he said, arguing the fund is currently working on its new organisational structure and the merger with Cordares.

The most exportable elements of the Dutch pension system though are in the second pillar, suggested Brinkman.

Mainly countries like Germany, Belgium and France, but also Italy, Spain and Portugal, look to the Dutch system with interest, argued the former politician.

He added the collective product offered by industry-wide pension funds such as ABP is exportable to other European countries.

Brinkman stressed, however, his fund has other priorities in the near-term which lie more in the home territory of the Netherlands.

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