NETHERLANDS - Pension funds need to respond with practical policy adjustments to the current credit crisis, according to Theo Jeurissen, chief investment officer of the €33bn Dutch metal pension fund PMT.
Jeurissen was one of the 12 nominees for this year's Outstanding Industry Contribution award at the IPE European Pension Fund Awards in Barcelona while the fund itself picked up two awards last night at the glittering ceremony.
Jeurissen told IPE ahead of the event the crunch has so far exposed also pension funds to whirl wind situations.
The required changes in mindset have been immense, according to Jeurissen.
"It is the deepest crisis that we have experienced since the 1930s, and we can still honour our pension liabilities, but buffers have been affected dramatically," he told IPE.
"The steep drop in cover ratios since the beginning of this year is not merely a matter of touching the borders set by legislation, but these are also factual borders of a pension fund," said Jeurissen, who believes it is up to pension funds to make the right responses.
"It would be too easy to make it the problem of the regulator. The rules reflect how a pension fund should be set up, and of course these rules in turn reflect social preferences about security with respect to pensions", he added.
Jeurissen praised the response of Dutch pension funds so far, adding there is little panic, partly following the regulator's stance recommending funds not to make hasty decisions
and to give pension funds more time to submit recovery plans.
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