NETHERLANDS - The corporate pension fund of retailer Maxeda will transfer to the €4.6bn industry wide pension fund for the retail industry (BPFD), the firm has confirmed today.

In a statement released late last night, the CNV Dienstenbond union said it had reached "an agreement in principle concerning the conditions for the transfer of the fund".

According to a Maxeda spokesman an agreement was reached only today and that the firm did not want to make a formal statement yet.

According to CNV, the firm, which owns Dutch department stores V&D, HEMA and Bijenkorf, has built up a "substantial" pension deficit over the years and had been looking for a way to reduce costs.

The transfer is seen as the best solution, as members of the scheme, several ten thousands according to CNV manager Geert Rijzinga, will end up with a better deal.

"We have been talking about a recovery plan for years, after bad investment returns the pension fund is in a very bad state, for instance there hasn't been indexation for years," Rijzinga told IPE today.