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Merger will mean benefit cuts of up to 9.3% at Dutch dental scheme

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A struggling Dutch pension fund for dental technicians will have to cut pension payouts by up to 9.3% when it joins the healthcare industry scheme PFZW.

In a letter to its members, the €800m Tandtechniek said the exact discount would depend on the funding of both pension funds on the day of the transfer, which has now been set at 1 October.

At the end of July, the coverage ratio of Tandtechniek stood at 94.6%, while PFZW’s funding was 100.9%.

The board of dental scheme said its new accountability body (VO) – which represents the members – had supported the plan to join the €197bn PFZW, the second-largest scheme in the Netherlands.

Henk van der Meer, chairman of Tandtechniek, confirmed that pensions supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) had also approved the scheme’s plan to join PFZW.

In its annual report for 2017, the pension fund for dental technicians explained that it had already factored the transition costs into its coverage ratio.

In May 2017, the previous VO rejected the board’s proposal to merge with PFZW on 1 January 2018. Instead, it took the board to court, alleging that it had been responsible for “culpable or apparently improper” management during the past few years.

In March 2018 three unions withdrew their representatives from the VO at the request of the pension fund’s board. The board also ruled out further co-operation with the VO due to the court case.

As a consequence of the delay, Tandtechniek appointed IT firm Centric as its administrator at the start of this year. The scheme was among the industry-wide pension funds that had to leave Syntrus Achmea Pensioenbeheer in 2016 and 2017.

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