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Number of Dutch pension funds will soon fall to 200, regulator says

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The number of Dutch pension funds has almost fallen to 200 due to the country’s continuous pension consolidation process, statistics from De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) have shown.

Although the watchdog still had 230 schemes under supervision at the start of April, 29 of them were in the process of liquidation.

Since the start of 2019, the corporate pension funds for Euronext (Mercurius) and Merrill Lynch, the industry scheme for accountants, and the general pension fund (APF) Delta Lloyd have all ceased to exist.

Of the 230 remaining pension funds, 162 are company schemes, 53 are industry-wide pension funds, nine are occupational schemes and six are APFs. Three years ago, the total number of pension funds stood at 304.

The pension funds in liquidation include the schemes for dental technicians (Tandtechniek), Hewitt and BDO CampsObers.

The €810m Tandtechniek joined healthcare scheme PFZW at the end of 2018, and was expected to complete the transfer later this year.

Hewitt (€41m) moved its pension assets to Belgium, while CampsObers has been in liquidation since 2011.

Meanwhile, the Eriks (€212m), Forbo (€401m) and Invista (€173m) pension funds are all considering future options.

Invista’s sponsor has cancelled its contract for pensions provision with its closed scheme as of the end of January. Since then, members have been accruing a pension with an insurer.

The Eriks scheme said it expected to appoint an insurer as its new provider, with accrued benefits transferred elsewhere.

The Pensioenfonds Forbo said that increasing costs – largely as a consequence of stricter requirements for trustees – was a particular problem for smaller pension funds.

It planned to ask three APFs and three sector schemes for a quote, while also assessing the options of a cross-border transfer to Belgium. However, it also didn’t rule out continuing independently.

APF Volo is also expected to liquidate as a result of its founder PGGM exiting the market at the end of 2018.

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