Meubel, the Dutch €4bn pension fund for the furniture sector, is the first scheme to join Netherlands-based IT provider Centric, which has recently entered the market for pensions provision.

Meubel had to leave Syntrus Achmea following the provider’s announcement in October that it would stop serving 23 sector schemes within two years. Syntrus Achmea said its new IT system could not accommodate the multitude of pension arrangements offered by industry-wide schemes.

Steeph Custers, deputy chair of Meubel said that, from the eight providers that had initially been selected, Centric had offered the best proposition.

He pointed out that Centric had ample experience in software and cloud services, and that it has been serving other financial service providers for quite a while.

“We are convinced that IT is to become increasingly important for the quality of pensions provision,” added Petra de Bruijn, chair of Meubel.

She said Centric’s proposition would fit with the pension fund’s online communication service implemented by Bridgevest: “Combined with Centric’s pension management, this will create a digital implementation chain that is customer-friendly, transparent and efficient.”

Meubel indicated that it had also made arrangements for legal and actuarial matters.

Custers said he didn’t exclude the possibility that back office staff at Syntrus Achmea would be offered the opportunity to join Centric.

He added that Centric used the same IT system as Syntrus Achmea, and that it had indicated its willingness to further invest in the platform.

The deputy chair estimated the annual cost saving at almost 15%, and added that Centric would not charge one-off transition costs.

A spokeswoman for Centric said that “during talks with several parties, the firm had received positive responses to its proposition”.