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Netherlands roundup: Sector scheme merger with PFZW postponed

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The €766m sector scheme for dental technicians (Tandtechniek) has postponed its initial plan to join the large healthcare pension fund PFZW as of January, it has confirmed. 

It is not clear when the pension fund can join PFZW as the Dutch social affairs ministry is still assessing the smaller fund’s request to transfer its mandatory status to the healthcare scheme.

The postponement comes after the dental technician fund’s accountability body (VO) had asked the corporate court to assess the operations of its board.

The VO – tasked with representing the interests of the scheme’s participants – suggested that the board had been responsible for “culpable or apparently improper” management during the past few years.

During the legal procedure last week, Onno Blom, the pension fund’s legal adviser, suggested that PFZW had been seeking excuses for postponement, and that the delay was linked to the court case.

PFZW emphasised that the only reason for the delay was that the Tandtechniek scheme could not submit the necessary data in time.

It conceded, however, that the court case “did not help making progress” in the merger process.

The Tandtechniek scheme, which had to leave its administrator Syntrus Achmea Pensioenbeheer after the latter ceased providing services to sector schemes last year, will now place its administration with IT firm Centric for an indefinite period. Syntrus could no longer cope with the sector schemes’ multiple pensions arrangements.

Wood-processing scheme outsources administration to NN Group unit

The €508m Dutch pension fund for the wood-processing industry and yacht-building (Houtverwerkende Industrie en Jachtbouw) will outsource its pensions administration to AZL, part of NN Group, as of January, it has said.

The pension fund had initially opted for Delta Lloyd Pension Services (DLPS) after also having had to leave Syntrus Achmea Pensioenbeheer. 

In the meantime, however, insurer Delta Lloyd has been taken over by NN Group.

The pension fund said that, at AZL, its administration could still be run on DLPS’s Lifetime, the IT system it had preferred because it was “modern and legacy-free”.

Steeph Custers, the scheme’s chairman, added that the pension fund would also be serviced by DLPS’s staff.

AZL confirmed that the agreements would remain in place, and said that DLPS would continue under the brand and responsibility of AZL.

Whether the industry pension fund can keep on using the DLPS IT system while AZL’s other clients remain on the standard system will be decided during the further integration of DLPS into AZL, the provider indicated.

Next summer, the pension fund will transfer its asset management to NN IP. It had previously signed a letter of intent with Delta Lloyd. The asset management divisions of Delta Lloyd and NN are to merge.

The wood-processing industry fund was supposed to become DLPS’s second client, after Delta Lloyd’s new general pension fund (APF).

The future of the Delta Lloyd APF is unclear. NN, which had already established its own general pension fund – De Nationale APF – wanted to get rid of the Delta Lloyd vehicle. However, it is an independent entity and declined to liquidate itself.

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