The two pension funds of engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV have announced that they are intending to merge into a multi-company scheme on 1 January 2015. 

The decision comes in the wake of the merger of the engineering companies Royal Haskoning and DHV in 2012, leaving the new company with two pension funds, the employer indicated.

The new multi-pension fund is to carry out a new pension plan for all participants, and would also manage accrued pension rights of all participants and pensioners, said Royal HaskoningDHV.

The Pensioenfonds DHV manages approximately €580m of pension assets for 3,400 employees and deferred participants as well as 1,100 pensioners of the former DHV.

The €336m Pensioenfonds Haskoning (SPH) has 1,505 active participants, 1,475 deferred members and 610 pensioners.

SPH has placed its pensions under a guarantee contract with insurer Nationale Nederlanden, which is to expire at year-end, according to the employer.

A multi-company scheme operates under a single board, managing ring-fenced assets which are individually liable to the financial assessment framework (FTK).

Contrary to an industry-wide pension fund, a multi-company scheme is open to pension funds from different sectors with different pension arrangements.

The concept of the multi-scheme was meant as a transitional phase between the Premium Pension Insutitution (PPI), Dutch cross-border DC vehicle, and the proposed API for defined benefit funds.

However, the API concept never made it onto the statute books and has been replaced with proposals for the APF, which will not be able to accommodate non-domestic pension funds for the time being.

The interest from the sector for a multi-company pension fund has been limited to three schemes so far.