Syntrus Achmea wins Shell pension fund administration contract
Shell’s closed €26bn pension fund in the Netherlands (SSPF) is to outsource pensions administration for its 40,000 participants to Syntrus Achmea Pensioenbeheer.
The new contract, effective from 1 January 2018, will also include all communication with participants.
The announcement comes soon after Syntrus disclosed that it would stop providing services to industry-wide pension funds, as its new IT system struggled to cope with their disparate arrangements.
At present, industry-wide schemes account for about two-thirds of Syntrus’s business.
Last week, Tom van der Spek, director of old-age provision at Syntrus, said the company would now focus on corporate and occupational pension funds, as well as on the new general pension fund (APF) of insurer Centraal Beheer, which is part of Achmea Group.
Shell and Syntrus have been co-operating since 1 July 2013, when the oil company closed its defined benefit scheme SSPF to new entrants, who had to start saving in a new defined contribution scheme, SNPS.
Since then, Syntrus has managed pensions administration for SNPS, while SSPF kept its own pensions bureau SPN as its provider.
Janwillem Bouma, director of both schemes, said Syntrus would also deliver bespoke pension management for SSPF’s participants against low costs.
He added that pensions communication “had to comply with the most recent digital standards”.
Van der Spek said Shell’s choice had reinforced Syntrus’s position as a “market leader for company pension funds”.
In other news, Hibin, the €761m sector scheme for the building materials industry, which is to leave Syntrus, has said it will start carrying out its pensions administration in-house.
According to Gijs Alferink, the scheme’s chairman, the new arrangement will allow Hibin to save €400,000 in costs and VAT annually.
He said the decision to leave Syntrus had been taken last summer due to a desire to cut costs, as well as growing dissatisfaction with the service provided.
Hibin has 13,200 participants and pensioners affiliated with 850 employers.