NETHERLANDS - The fragmented Dutch metals sector pensions could be set for increased cooperation following remarks from the head of the metals employers’ union.

Any such move could result in a combined scheme worth around €35bn.

Jan Kamminga, the new chairman of the FME-CWM, has proposed a rigorous change of the currently fractured metal sectors, the CAO and pension fund structures.

Kamminga indicated that it would be very useful if the two major schemes in the area - PME and PMT – merged into one large sector-specific scheme.

Consolidation is seen as one of the key topics in the Dutch pension market at the moment.

The FME-CWM and its sector rival Koninklijke Metaalunie are also currently discussing increased cooperation. The union told IPE that Kamminga’s view is the official view of the organisation.

The €21bn PMT has an outsourcing relationship with MN Services in Rijswijk, while the €14bn PME works with Achmea.

There were mergers in the sector in the 1990s – funds such as Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin, TNO and PBO-Dienstverlening and several others combined forces. They outsourced administration to the pension consultants Zuidhoorn.

According to PME spokesman Bram van Elst, the discussion has been going on for years now. The rationale behind this discussion is know to us, and we see the reasons. The two pension funds are not directly involved in the discussion, as the social partners will be the power brokers. In contrast to PME, the other pension fund denied to give a reaction.