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Dutch roundup: SPF, SPOV, Dutch Antilles, Syntrus Achmea

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  • Dutch roundup: SPF, SPOV, Dutch Antilles, Syntrus Achmea

NETHERLANDS - The €11bn railways scheme SPF and the €2.5bn public transport scheme SPOV have abandoned the salary index as a standard for their policy of conditional indexation.

The pensions funds, which are both served by pension provider SPF, said they would make a decision on indexation subject to their financial position, as well as the outlook for the coming years.

Officials at the railways scheme said: "If we explicitly promise a salary index-based indexation, pension supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank will set stricter financial requirements.

"Moreover, the absence of such a standard will allow the board to be flexible and decisive in responding to developments."

SPF and SPOV - which had a coverage ratio of 125% and 108%, respectively, at the end of November - have already decided to refrain from indexation on 1 January 2011.

They attributed the decision to financial market uncertainty, low long-term interest rates and the need to increase their financial buffers.

In other news, the civil service scheme of the Dutch Antilles has appointed Syntrus Achmea as its pension provider.

Syntrus Achmea will not only carry out the pension administration but also be the scheme's asset manager and fiduciary manager.

The Stichting Pensioenfonds Caribisch Nederland (PCN) offers a pension to approximately 4,000 civil servants and workers in education and the care sector, after the Caribbean islands Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius became Dutch councils in October.

According to Syntrus Achmea, the deal fits its ambition to increase its international service provision.

Jop Versteegt, account director, said: "The real challenge is the large distance and the very different legislation on the Antilles. Managing this will make managing a pan-European pension fund in Belgium or in France relatively easy."

The participants on the islands need to be addressed in three different languages, while the financial transactions involved will be carried out in several currencies.

Hans Snijders, chief executive at Syntrus Achmea, said: "We are very proud of PCN's mandate, as it underlines the innovative character of our service provision."

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