Dutch pensions funds results for 2002 do not make for pretty reading, as the negative returns for 2002 following on a dismal 2001 have pushed some funds below the high watermark line of the strong buffer reserves designed to absorb the severest of market shocks.
The unprecedented declines heralded in by the new millennium have tested the system sorely.
Compared with the previous year, the overall results, show that fund returns fell by an average –8.1%, compared with a decline of –2.8%. These figures were compiled by State Street’s measurement operation WM Company in the Netherlands for the two organisations looking after Dutch funds, OPF for company and VB for the industry-wide schemes.
Some of the leading company funds posted some dismal returns, with the E10.4bn Shell fund down –14.5%, compared with –5.7% the previous year, and the E12bn Philips fund at –14.1%, as against 0.8% the previous year. The biggest decline was recorded at the E2.1bn IBM fund, which dropped by –16.1%, compared with –5.7% the year before.
The Bull plan managed to produce a positive return of 2.7% on its assets of E142m.
The bellwether ABP and PGGM funds both came in better than average, with the giant civil service with assets at year end of E136bn showing a loss of –7.2%, just ahead of the E45.3bn PGGM fund at –7.35%.
But overall, the five year returns show all funds in positive territory.