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IPE special report May 2018

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Dutch government acknowledges error in court ruling against pension scheme PME

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  • Dutch government acknowledges error in court ruling against pension scheme PME

NETHERLANDS - A recent court ruling against the €23bn metalworkers pension scheme PME contains an "essential typo", according to Dutch social affairs and labour minister Henk Kamp.

Minister Kamp revealed the error earlier this week in response to parliamentary questions regarding the court case, which was brought by the scheme to contest an order issued in 2009 by supervisor DNB, ordering the scheme to reduce its investment risk.

In August, the district court of Rotterdam ruled that the DNB had been justified in issuing the order.

One extract from the ruling in particular prompted MPs to question Kamp about the case.

The excerpt reads: "It turns out that PME, together with another pension scheme, has paid asset management costs of €450m to asset manager Mn Services, an amount the DNB has deemed 'exorbitant', which deviates significantly from the base fee of €12m and which Mn Services for the most part cannot justify."

Kamp said: "Instead of 'an amount the DNB has deemed exorbitant', it should have read 'an amount the DB has deemed 'exorbitant', with DB referring to the scheme's 'daily management board'."

The metal scheme pointed out the mistake, and the DNB has confirmed the error, the minister said.

PME has said its total costs included fees paid by the much larger €37bn metal scheme PMT.

It has also pointed out that the fees were paid to a number of different asset managers, not just Mn Services.

According to the scheme, the ruling contains multiple errors, including incorrect numbers of asset management costs and portfolio losses.

The scheme is appealing the ruling.

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