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ABP embraces SRI in bid to regain trust of participants

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ABP, the pension fund for Dutch civil servants, is to revamp its €356bn investment portfolio to better reflect socially responsible investment (SRI) principles.

Speaking at the IIR Pensioenforum in the Netherlands, Corien Wortmann-Kool, the scheme’s chair, said the overhaul would be part of a “fundamental modernisation”, focusing on regaining the trust of its participants.

She declined, however, to provide any further detail on the pension fund’s “ambitious” SRI plans.

Separately, Wortmann-Kool announced that ABP would soon launch an online personal-communication portal dubbed MyABP.

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She said the website would provide participants with “layered” information, as well as pension rights in net amounts.

She added that the interactive website was currently in the testing phase.

ABP’s new policy – described by Wortmann-Kool as “engagement” – aims to give participants greater insight into their own position at ABP, and how this relates to their combined financial prospects.

The pension fund is now running trials using the details of five fictitious participants, to help it fine-tune processes, products, campaigns and messages, Wortmann-Kool said.

While she acknowledged that offering more individually tailored pensions would be impossible without increased freedom of choice on pensions accrual, she stressed the importance of limiting options.

She advocated simplicity as a means of avoiding “choice stress” and said proper default options had to be developed for participants who did not want – or who were unable – to choose.

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