NETHERLANDS - The €105bn pension provider PGGM has developed an interactive and online pension tool that offers participants an insight into the general pension mechanism, their personal pension situation and a risk/return assessment of their investments.

The 'Pension Scout' helps participants make the choices they need to make to reach a set income level at retirement, through different combinations of retirement age, risk appetite and additional pension saving, PGGM said.

The scheme added that the tool would help pension funds increase awareness among their participants and encourage dialogue about pensions.

Niels Kortleve, innovation manager at PGGM, said the software for the dashboard had been built around the assumptions for inflation, long-term interest rates and specific variables for returns based on the asset-liability management study for PGGM's main client, the €100bn healthcare scheme PFZW.

He added that a thousand scenarios had been incorporated into the model.

However, PGGM's Pension Scout does not cover the state pension AOW or third-pillar pension accrual with an insurer.

The provider added that the option of additional pension saving referred to saving with PFZW, rather than an insurer or a bank.

According to Kortleve, the dashboard was developed after a survey among 500 participants who took part in a pilot project.

"It turned out that they were able to make better-informed choices and had a better insight into the general pensions mechanism after participating in the pilot," he said.

"In particular, younger participants are enthusiastic about the tool and the educational effect of the buttons."

However, he noted that it was unclear why the 9,500 PFZW members who had also been invited to participate did not respond, or did not complete the process.

The pilot also showed that many participants had trouble estimating which income level they needed after retirement, said Kortleve, who suggested they might need additional help figuring this out.

Although the dashboard is already available as a demo, it will take several months before the more than 2m participants of PFZW can check their personal situation through online access to their data at the pension fund.

The innovation manager said the Pension Scout was also commercially available for pension funds that were not a client of PGGM, adding that it could also be adjusted for defined contribution schemes.

Recently, Harman Korte, director at communications watchdog AFM, called for an interactive uniform pension statement.

Where the new Pension Register only indicates the future pension benefits for the state pension AOW and second-pillar pensions, an interactive dashboard should also include third-pillar pension rights, he argued.