NETHERLANDS - The €1bn pension fund for Dutch construction company VolkerWessels is to transfer its pension liabilities to industry fund BpfBouw.

In a statement, BpfBouw said the10,000 members of Pensioenfonds VolkerWessels (PFVW) would join the scheme, with these new members drawing their first pension from BpfBouw by January next year.

The transfer, which is believed to have been signed off by regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) earlier in the month, would serve the interests of both scheme's members, Bpf stressed, adding that it would grant them greater benefits of scale and allow them to lower operating costs overall.

 A spokeswoman for VolkerWessels, told IPE: "We are committed  to continue providing our present and former employees a good pension.

"By transferring the pensions to BpfBOUW and to Nationale Nederlanden we are able to maintain a more than market-related retirement at an affordable premium for both employee and employer. By transferring our smaller scheme to the larger BpfBOUW, we are able to make use of the advantages of scale and the expertise of this pension fund," she added.

According to PFVW's most recent annual report for the end of 2009, it had €948m in assets under management, with 16% invested in equities, 14.5% in hedge funds and 5.8% in proporty funds. A further 3.4% was held in cash reserves, while the remaining 60% was invested in fixed income.

It reported a 2.5 percentage point increase in its coverage ratio to 106.2% in 2009, and this may have further increased by December 2010 (the DNB estimates that the average funding ratio for Dutch schemes had risen to 112% at the end of last year).

BpfBouw meanwhile saw its coverage ratio rebound from 97.1% at the end of August to 110.8% by March. With over 800,000 members, it has €28bn in assets under management.