NETHERLANDS - Premiums paid to Dutch insurance companies were three times as high as premiums paid to Dutch pension funds at the beginning of 2006 (Corrects figures in 2nd paragraph).

The latest statistics from De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) show that Dutch pension funds received €6bn in premiums and paid out €4bn in benefits in the first quarter.

Dutch insurance corporations, including health care insurers received premiums worth €19.3 billion and paid out €12.3bn in benefits.

Pension funds direct return on investments was higher, however, at €4.4bn and their operating expenses relatively low.
This produced a cash flow from operations of €6.3bn. Pension funds used this amount to expand their deposits and liquid assets.

Insurance companies’ direct return on investments of €2.2 bn almost equalled operating expenses, yielding a cash flow from operations of €6.9 bn.

Dutch pension funds rearranged their investment mix in the first quarter, selling shares and buying bonds. DNB said that some of this was profit-taking as pension funds sought to capitalise on higher share prices. Some was as a result of pension funds rearranging their investment portfolios to be able to use more of their assets to achieve longer maturities.

As a result of these changes in the investment mix, the maturities of assets and liabilities are better matched, DNB said.