NETHERLANDS - The Dutch construction industry pensions providers Cordares and ASW say they will complete their previously announced merger as of January 1.

The new entity will operate under the name Cordares. With assets under management of €22.8bn, 1,000 staff and an administrative turnover of €220m, it will be the fourth largest pensions provider in the Netherlands.

“The merger will offer both players benefits of cost-efficiency, asset management and customer service,” they said in a statement.

After the merger, Cordares – the former SFB Group – will implement 27 different pension schemes for over a million workers, pensioners and benefits recipients of 25,000 employers.

“We are delighted to merge with Cordares, because of its excellent reputation and high service level,” said ASW director Jan Kloet. Most of his staff will keep on working for ASW clients for the time being, the scheme added.

ASW is the manager of Pensioenfonds voor de Woningcorporaties and has €3.8bn of assets under management and employs 100 staff.

“The asset management, staff and IT departments will shortly merge and be housed in the Cordares office in Amsterdam.

“The other ASW departments will keep on operating from Huizen for a maximum of three years,” the partners said. “There won’t be any redundancies.”

The merger is meant to speed-up the consolidation within the Dutch pensions sector. The two bodies expect a rapid decrease of the number of 700 independently operating pension funds.

“To a lot of schemes contracting out or a merger is the only right answer to rising service and IT costs, more strict national and EU legislation, the new IFRS rules and the new financial assessment framework FTK,” said Cordares chairman Joep Schouten.

“Moreover, a merger is attractive for small and medium schemes, in order to secure quality and to limit costs.”