ExxonMobil's Dutch pension fund exploring move to Belgium

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The €2.5bn Dutch pension fund of energy giant ExxonMobil has said it is considering to join its Belgian sister scheme in setting up a cross-border pension fund. 

It said an initial study had shown that placing its pension arrangements in a joint scheme could cut implementation costs considerably, without any change in the plan or pension obligation.

Since 2012, ExxonMobil has maintained two pension funds in the Benelux region: the Stichting Pensioenfonds Protector in the Netherlands and the ExxonMobil OFP in Belgium.

Protector said it intended to establish a cross-border scheme in Belgium by extending the current ExxonMobil OFP into an IORP.

The Dutch scheme has almost 5,000 active participants and pensioners.

Its coverage ratio at year-end was 131.6%.

The pension fund reported a total return on investments of 25.5% for 2014.

At the start of 2015, it replaced its final salary plan with average salary arrangements with full indexation.

A number of Dutch pension funds are currently considering the possibility of joining or establishing a pan-European pensions vehicle in Belgium due to increasing regulatory pressure in the Netherlands, cheaper supervision and VAT exemption.

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson recently completed the transfer of its Dutch pension fund to Belgium after a three-year long process.

Last year, 200 employees and pensioners of the Dutch branch of financial services provider Euroclear joined the Brussels-based company scheme Euroclear Pension Fund OFP.

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