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SNPF considering alternative recovery measures, appoints chairman

NETHERLANDS - The board of the €1bn pension fund for notaries (SNPF) said it was considering alternative recovery measures to avoid rights cuts after supervisor De Nederlansche Bank (DNB) turned down its suggestions for a tailor-made recovery.

The notaries scheme had proposed to extend its recovery period to the end of 2016, arguing that its financial position could improve to the minimum required coverage ratio of 105% without rights cuts by that point.

At the end of September, the funding ratio of the SNPF was 87.9%, falling short of the percentage mapped out in its five-years recovery plan, it said.

SNPF argued a longer recovery period was justified, as it initially had its own unique legal rules prescribing a lower funding level.

However, since 2006, the scheme had to follow the more strict rules of the new financial assessment framework FTK.

According to the pension fund, it is now looking at the option of further raising its contributions and economising on pension arrangements.

A possible rights discount will apply to all its participants, it stressed, adding that the amount may differ between active participants, deferred members and pensioners.

Meanwhile, Gijs Alferink has been appointed as chairman, replacing Ben van den Berg, who resigned in August over how the executive board was run.

The notaries scheme further indicated that it had established a working group tasked with preparing changes to its board structure.

Earlier this year, the SNPF’s supervisors - consisting of the scheme’s non-executive board members - recommended abolishing the distinction between executive and non-executive board members and introducing a visitation committee or audit committee for future internal supervision.

In the opinion of the supervisors, the executive board has been too slow, losing initiative and leaning too heavily on its pension provider for governing tasks.

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