Tech sector scheme TrueBlue seeks co-operation or merger

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TrueBlue, the €313m pension fund for the Netherlands’ technology sector, is assessing options for co-operation or a merger with other pension funds as it has failed to grow during the past four years.

In its annual report for 2017, it said that both its supervisory board (RvT) and its accountability body (VO) had asked for a detailed plan for possible consolidation.

In 2014, the non-mandatory industry-wide scheme ICK rebranded to TrueBlue and said it wanted to become the scheme for the digital sector.

To encourage employers to join the scheme, it also added a defined contribution (DC) plan alongside its defined benefit scheme.

At the time, it intended to increase the number of active members to 5,000 within a few years. However, by the end of last year it had only 3,430 active participants.

Hans Keukelaar, TrueBlue’s chairman, attributed the setback to reorganisations at affiliated employers, which had resulted in the pension fund losing 600 contributing members.

“However, we have chiefly compensated this through attracting 36 new employers, resulting in 93 affiliated firms,” he added.

Keukelaar said that in order to make future links with other pension funds more enticing, the technology scheme had updated its website and added collective DC arrangements to its proposition.

At July-end, funding of TrueBlue stood at 98%, but according to the chairman, this hadn’t been an obstacle for new employers joining.

Keukelaar indicated that his pension fund was already actively discussing co-operation with both company pension funds and industry-wide schemes.

He said the aim was to merge financially and legally but to keep its own brand.

The chairman added that joining a general pension fund was not considered as an option as TrueBlue would lose much of its influence within the multi-scheme vehicle.

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