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Interest rates hit coverage ratios at large Dutch schemes

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NETHERLANDS - The €5.3bn pension fund of steelworks Hoogovens, as well as two of KLM's large pension schemes, saw their coverage ratios hit by dropping long-term interest rates in the second quarter.

The Stichting Pensioenfonds Hoogovens reported a decrease of its nominal coverage ratio from 118.3% to 112.5%, despite its return on investments of 1.5%.

During the same period, its real funding ratio fell by 1.6 percentage points to 81.2%.

Pension fund officials said: "Compared to the drop of the nominal coverage ratio, the change in real funding ratio is limited because of the decreased expectations for inflation."

Meanwhile, the €4.8bn KLM pension fund for ground staff reported a loss of 0.1% in the second quarter.

Mainly due to dropping interest rates and paid indexation, the negative return contributed to a decrease of its nominal coverage ratio by almost 9 percentage points to 11.4%, it said.

The scheme added that its real coverage ratio has fallen from 81.1% to 74.4%.

Lastly, the €1.4bn KLM scheme for cabin staff said it generated a return of 0.3% on investments, but saw its nominal funding drop by 12.5 percentage points to 114.6%.

Its real coverage decreased from 72.3% to 65.3% in the second quarter.

During this period, long-term interest rates fell from almost 3.7% to 3.2%.
 

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