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IPE special report May 2018

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PMT, PME satisfied with MN scaling back innovation project

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The Netherlands’ large metal industry pension schemes PMT and PME say they are satisfied with the decision of their pensions provider MN to scale back its extensive innovation project.

On Monday, it had become clear that MN, which is also the asset manager for both schemes, had written off €15m of a €70m project called MN 3.0, as it had largely failed to deliver.

“MN has pulled the plug in time and hasn’t continued whilst being aware of the problems,” noted a spokesman for PMT, the €67bn scheme for metalworking and mechanical engineering. “It has shown responsibility and that is important.”

In the opinion of both schemes, the €15m write off is not entirely wasted, “as part of it has been used to initiate an organisational change, which has led to cost reduction”. They also said MN had improved technical facilities.

PME, the €44.5bn scheme for metalworking and electro-technical engineering, said that MN had made a sensible decision, “as there is no longer a large project running alongside regular operations”.

“The focus has shifted to short term and small scale, re-inforcing MN’s grip on the innovation process,” the scheme said.

MN said that its initial target of a 30% costs reduction as of 2018 would still be achievable.

Both pension funds made clear that the scaling back of the innovation project meant that they no longer had to pay additional costs.

The initial plans for MN 3.0 would have cost PMT and PME €17 and €7 per participant, respectively, for several years. This would come on top of the regular annual cost per participant of €81.50.

MN said that for 2017 it had reserved €6m for the slimmed down project, which would now focus on re-organisation and IT systems as well as co-ordination within its organisation.

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