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Ballast Nedam to transfer pensions to general pension fund Stap

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The €1bn pension fund of Dutch construction company Ballast Nedam plans to transfer its accrued benefits to Stap, the general pension fund (APF) set up by insurer Aegon and its subsidiary TKP.

In a message on its website, the scheme said its members’ benefits would be placed in an individual compartment at the APF. The pension fund itself is to be wound down next year.

The Ballast Nedam Pensioenfonds (BNPF) has been seeking to transfer its legacy pension scheme to a third party after the employer cancelled its pensions provision with effect from 1 January 2019.

In 2016, the sponsor selected BpfBouw – the €58bn scheme for the building sector – to run future pensions accrual for its workers.

BNPF said the €26bn multi-sector scheme PGB was also a candidate for taking over its pension rights until the last moment. However, PGB ultimately dropped out because of its different risk attitude, explained Dick Vis, chairman of the Ballast Nedam scheme.

“As a consequence of earlier rights cuts at our scheme, participants of BNPF are less prepared to take risks than PGB’s members,” he said.

Vis pointed out that the possibility of keeping its own identity in a separate compartment at the APF had also played a role.

However, the chairman couldn’t say whether the transfer to Stap would be cheaper or more expensive than joining the multi-sector scheme.

Another unnamed general pension fund was also part of the tendering process, Vis added.

The pension fund’s accountability body and supervisory board have voiced their support for the transfer, which is still subject to approval by the regulator, De Nederlandsche Bank.

If the transaction goes ahead, BNPF’s trustees will take positions on Stap’s stakeholders’ board alongside some members of the accountability body.

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