NETHERLANDS - The boards of the Dutch pension fund of former banc-assurer Fortis and the €11.7bn pension fund of ABN Amro have, in principle, agreed to merge.

The deal provides for all pension rights of the Pensioenfonds Fortis Bank Nederland (PFBN) to be transferred to the ABN Amro scheme, the pension funds said in a joint statement.

They added that they expect to receive advice from their respective co-decision-making bodies about the planned merger in September.

Following the collapse of Fortis, Fortis Bank Nederland and ABN Amro Bank merged in 2010.

On 1 January 2011, all 7,960 active participants of the Fortis scheme were transferred to the pension fund of ABN Amro, leaving PFBN a closed scheme with 8,770 deferred members and 2,915 pensioners.

The ABN Amro Pensioenfonds and PFBN had a coverage ratio of 107% and 107.2% respectively at the end of June.

Last year, the ABN Amro scheme returned 16.1% on investments. PFBN reported a yield of 10.3% over the course of 2010.

The Pensioenfonds ABN Amro has 23,645 active participants, 42,142 deferred members and 18,575 pensioners.

The Fortis scheme declined to provide additional information, whereas the pension fund of ABN Amro could not be contacted for further details.