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Syntrus Achmea saga ends as furnishing sector scheme opts for TKP

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The €3.2bn pension fund for the furnishing sector (Wonen) plans to transfer its pensions administration from Syntrus Achmea Pensioenbeheer to TKP Pensioen.

If the statement of intent is approved by its accountability body, Wonen will become the last of the 22 industry-wide pension funds to leave Syntrus Achmea since the administrator announced in November that its IT system could not cope with large sector schemes.

Pieter Verhoog, chairman of Wonen, said his pension fund had opted for TKP because of its competitive offer, as well as the fact it already serviced the €19.4bn sector scheme for the retail (Detailhandel).

“TKP has ample experience with many participants coming and going,” he said. Verhoog also praised TKP’s pension planner service for scheme participants.

Wonen’s chairman also said that long-running discussions between employers and unions to merge pensions and collective labour agreements for the furnishing and retail sectors had also played a role in choosing TKP.

Since 2014, two efforts to merge the two pension funds have failed because a funding difference could not be bridged.

At June-end, the coverage ratio of Wonen was 102%, while funding of Detailhandel stood at 109%.

Verhoog said that there were no new plans for a merger, but he added that this could change if new legislation enabled mandatory sector schemes to merge with ring-fenced assets. This could could happen as soon as next year.

At year-end, Wonen had 29,000 active participants, 14,000 pensioners and 96,000 deferred members.

Its pension assets will remain with Achmea Investment Management, after it extended the contract at the start of 2016.

Last April, Wonen transferred its board support from Syntrus Achmea to Rosmalen-based provider ABB voor Pensioenfondsen.

Wonen is the second industry-wide scheme that moved to TKP Pensioen. The €1.4bn pension fund for private security (Particuliere Beveiliging) took the same step in October.

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