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IPE special report May 2018

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Dutch pension funds dubious of cost benchmarks' benefits – survey

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Nearly two-thirds of Dutch pension funds think cost benchmarks have limited added value, according to a survey by KAS Bank. 

The custodian and administrator, which canvassed 24 Dutch schemes and consultants, said most respondents felt participating in a benchmark was too time-consuming, and that there were too many benchmark providers.

More than 60% said they saw limited added value and underlined the importance of being compared with similar schemes.

By contrast, one-third of respondents said they appreciated cost benchmarking, while 4% said such comparisons were useless.

More than 40% said they “dreaded” taking part in benchmarks due to time constraints.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they had difficulties picking the right provider and preferred to wait until a clear market leader emerged, while 20% said providers of costs benchmarks were too expensive.

KAS Bank’s survey covered 15 company pension funds, six industry-wide schemes and three consultants.

Last year, PDN, the €7.2bn pension fund for chemicals giant DSM, decided to withdraw from CEM Benchmarking for cost reasons, as well as the fact its costs had not deviated much from the previous year.

It also said it would compare its costs with similar schemes by checking their annual reports.

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